Chief Elections Official Denise Merrill: We’ll Provide Absentee Ballot Applications To All Voters

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill writes in a commentary for the Hartford Courant that her office will send absentee ballot applications to every voter in the state, in advance of August primaries and November general election, in response to the health emergency.

First, we are going to enhance the safety of our in-person polling places. That includes getting towns the materials they need to hold a healthy election (including disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, gloves, masks and pens), hiring more poll workers both to make sure that every polling place has adequate staffing in case of absences and to get voters in and out faster, and reducing the number of voters in a polling place at any one time. We will also help towns to overcome their specific obstacles, like finding new polling place locations when their normal polling place is unavailable or managing increased demand for curbside ballot delivery.

Second, we are going to make it possible for voters to have access to voting at home, by absentee ballot, if the threat of the coronavirus makes it necessary. My office will contract with a mail house and pay for and send absentee ballot applications to every voter in the state, including the cost of returning the applications, mailing the actual ballots to the voters, and for the voters to return their ballots. The federal funding gives us the flexibility to ensure that every voter who needs to conveniently cast a ballot from home by mail is able to do so, without cost to either the towns or the voters.

Full commentary here.


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