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CT election officials expect absentee ballot onslaught, counting ballots may begin before Election Day


Conn. (WTNH) — An absentee ballot controversy in Enfield is under investigation by the U.S. Postal Service, and Thursday State officials are preparing to refer the case to State Elections Enforcement. Meantime, local election officials say they need help counting what is expected to be an onslaught of absentee ballots cast in the November election.

“We are gonna have 10-20 times more absentee ballots then we’ve ever had. We gotta know how to process them and count them in an honest and timely way,” said Governor Ned Lamont.

News 8 has learned top officials are considering legislation allowing local registrars to count absentee ballots before Election Day. Right now, absentees are not allowed to be opened until 10 a.m. on Election Day.

State Senator John Kissel (R-Enfield) is open to the idea: “I would not be opposed to allowing them to be opened 24 hours ahead of Election Day so town clerks and registrars could get it all together. But much more than that, I have concerns constitutionally.”

RELATED: Hundreds of absentee ballots returned after primary election in Enfield will not be counted

Kissel also weighed in on the U.S. Postal Service investigation into why hundreds of ballots were delivered weeks after the August Primary in Enfield. News 8 was first to report that more than 200 votes were rejected for being late.

“Apparently with regular letters, they can’t really track it, so how did these things get lost in the system for two to three weeks?” asked Kissel.

Meantime, we’ve learned Connecticut’s chief election official, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill is set to file paperwork with the State Election Enforcement Commission. This would allow them to launch their own investigation into what happened with all those ballots.

Governor Lamont could also go in a different direction with another strategy to make sure absentee ballots are counted in a timely manner. That could come by executive order. He says he will make an announcement in the next few days.

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