Voters had the option to vote by absentee ballot again in 2021


Conn. (WTNH) – Last year was the first year that all Connecticut residents were allowed to vote by absentee ballot. In 2021, voters had that option once again in the municipal elections.

A record number of Connecticut residents voted in the 2020 election that produced wins for Joe Biden in the presidential race, and five fellow Democrats in all the state’s congressional races.

Once again, similar to last year, every Connecticut voter had access to an absentee ballot. All they had to do was check the COVID-19 reason on their absentee ballot application.

Earlier Tuesday evening, News 8 spoke with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, a proponent of absentee ballots, and asked if a lot of residents chose to vote in a similar fashion for the municipal election.

“You’re going to see a big increase in the number of absentee ballots. It was very popular with the public. They really want that flexibility, and they used it,” Merrill said.

Throughout the day, there were conflicting reports that in Wolcott, Fairfield, and Norwich, voters were being denied access because they weren’t wearing a mask. News 8 was told that wasn’t the case.

“We came up with a policy, very carefully worded that said, ‘you will not be denied your right to vote, but you may be offered other ways to vote that would not jeopardize anyone else.’ For example, you might be offered an opportunity to vote outside the polling place or a special place within the polling place. Not every option was available at every polling place,” Merrill said.

One thing different this year, with at least one exception, was applications for absentee ballots weren’t sent out to every voter automatically. You have to request one. Merrill said that in Waterbury, they did send absentee ballot applications to every voter.

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