Absentee voting due to the pandemic has been one of the biggest stories of the 2020 election year.
Towns and cities from Scotland to Stamford, and Morris to Mansfield stood out for different reasons after NBC Connecticut Investigates drilled down on data from the Secretary of the State’s office.
Through Oct. 28, the Secretary of the State’s office reported a bunch of towns with 25% or more of their voters returning absentee ballots.
Stamford has had more than 19,000 absentee ballots returned. West Hartford so far has had more than 16,000
A number of these towns and cities have been contenders for the state’s Democracy Cup, given to the municipalities with the greatest voter participation.
Meanwhile, more rural areas dominate when it has come to towns and cities with the lowest percentage of absentee ballots returned.
Morris had just 0.2% of its voters returning absentee ballots. Scotland came in next at 9%.
Election administrators said it’s possible there have been more people actually returning absentee ballots than the data shows, especially in our state’s bigger cities.
It may also just be taking those cities a while to process all the absentee ballots getting returned, so they may not have shown up in the tallies yet.
At the same time, there have been several cities and towns that in 2019 reported large percentages of inactive voters. New Haven was the highest at almost 30%. Mansfield was at 25%.
The Secretary of the State’s office said a lot of times there have been high numbers of inactive voters in towns and cities with big universities, where students don’t stay long and don’t always notify registrars when they move.
The office also added that inactive voters have more often been in cities where people have short-term leases and move more often.