State officials prepare for a safe and orderly Election Day


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Election Day is tomorrow and officials are preparing for a record turnout. The state’s chief election official says amid a contentious election season, she’s preparing for a safe and orderly election.

Several polling places are without power. Eversource says it’s working to restore them.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill’s office has handed out millions in CARES Act money to local election officials for a safe election. There’s a detailed ‘Safe Polls Plan.’

RELATED: CT officials set safety measures to ensure Election Day security

“You do not have a Constitutional right to endanger other people!” a stern warning from Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.

Chief Election officials reminding voters on the eve of the election: masks are the law in Connecticut and strongly encouraged at polling places.

President of the Connecticut Registrars Association Sue Larsen said, “These are your neighbors and friends – you want to protect them as well as yourself.”

If you chose NOT to wear a mask here are your options: Election workers will:

  • Offer a mask
  • Offer the opportunity to complete a ballot in a segregated part of the polling place away from others
  • Offer a provisional ballot that allows you to only vote for federal offices (You can complete this curbside from your car)
  • Offer the option to use curbside voting for a regular ballot, which includes local races

Once ballots are completed curbside, the voter puts the ballot in a privacy folder and the assistant registrar takes custody of the ballot and puts it into the tabulator machine for the voter.

“The bottom line is, no one will be allowed to endanger anyone else’s health. If it means curbside voting then they will not be able to actually see the ballot go into that machine. That’s how it has to be,” warned Secretary Merrill.

RELATED: With absentee ballot deadlines approaching, how to make sure your vote counts

Mike Brandi the Executive Director of the State’s Election Enforcement Commission says, “There’s a process. The registrars are election officials. They will handle the problem at the curbside voting and make sure all the votes are properly tabulated.”

Officials say there are plenty “provisional” ballots.

Each polling place has “precinct infection protection kit” full of masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning products.

There will be plexi glass between voters and workers.

Officials say the line may look long because of the six-foot rule, but the wait time should be minimal.

“While the basic premise is the same, the social distancing will be the big key,” according to Larsen.

If any voter is attempts to interfere with the “voting process” they can be removed by police.

250-volunteer attorneys from the Connecticut Bar Association will be working at precincts around the state.

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