State lawmakers advance legislation to help ensure ballots are counted in a timely manner ahead of election


(WTNH) — Are you planning to vote by absentee ballot? State lawmakers advanced legislation they say will help ensure your ballot is counted in a timely manner ahead of the November election.

Members of the House were in a marathon session that began early Wednesday afternoon and wrapped up overnight Thursday morning. A top on the table was advance legislation concerning the ballots in these boxes. 

There was overwhelming bipartisan support in the House for this bill, and that is because officials expect a massive amount of people to choose to vote by mail during the pandemic. A vote of 139 favoring the bill and five disapproving it moves this bill to the Senate.

This legislation is very specific – allowing election officials to count absentee ballots at 5 pm on the Friday before the election. That’s some four days prior to when they can currently count them.

Election officials have been enlisting volunteers and hiring extra staff in an effort to get those ballot packages ready to go out the door tomorrow, the first day they can be mailed out.

All of this, after hundreds of ballots were returned after the primary election in Enfield and were not counted. 

This legislation does not require towns to start processing early. It just gives them the option to do so. 

This was one of the first bills taken up in the special session. All of this wrapped up around 1 a.m. Thursday.

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