Isn’t Sandy another reason for early voting in Connecticut? The Land of Steady Habits is way behind the times to allow early balloting, courtesy of its state constitution and legislative pols tardy to push a vote of the people to open up early voting. How will this storm impact election day just a week away and which candidates benefit? Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Chris Murphy’s in a war with Republican Linda McMahon with a variety of polls showing a close contest. Every Democrat that cannot cast a ballot benefits McMahon.
Connecticut law allows early voting only through an excuse-required absentee ballot. More than 1000 Bridgeport electors have cast a ballot via absentee, according to Town Clerk Alma Maya, but another 1000-plus have requested ballots, many of them senior citizens with health issues. If this storm persists and leads to the havoc projected by local and state officials it will be difficult for elections officials to process requests by mail. Just about everything slows down when a storm hits. In addition, this curtails voter registration that amps up the week prior to a presidential election. Governor Dan Malloy has extended voter registration through 8 p.m. Thursday.
And then there’s the storm’s impact on residents forced to evacuate low-lying areas. When will they return and what will they find once back home? We’re talking about heavy Democratic voting districts in the South End, West End and East End. If the 2008 presidential election is a model for turnout, roughly 40,000 voters in Bridgeport will cast a ballot. This storm could deter a few thousand votes in Bridgeport and perhaps the same in New Haven.
And if you’re a candidate expecting mail pieces to hit, forget about it for the next few days. Many print shops will be closed.
Meanwhile, stay safe everyone.