HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– This time last year when the highest office in the country was at stake, these lines were wrapped around the building. But in some cities and towns, local elections don’t generate as much.
An hour and a half after polls opened, Barnaby Horton was the ninth citizen to vote in Hartford’s West End.
On the ballot: candidates for the school board.
“There’s no greater issue in the City of Hartford than educating our kids. So having a good and informed Board of Education is very important,” said Horton.
Connecticut’s chief election official, Secretary of the State, Denise Merrill also cast a ballot at Hartford International University for Religion and Peace.
“There’s a wide difference among the towns as to what’s at stake. So you can see here today’s it’s not a lively ballot in Hartford because there’s no mayoral race,” Merrill. There are no big visible races and that’s what determines turnout usually.”
More Connecticut residents are registered to vote than ever before. Some 2.3 million, but turnout expectations aren’t too high this year.
“There’s no pay involved for most of these jobs, board of education, planning, and zoning, so throw these people a vote. Give them a vote of evidence,” Merrill said.
Merrill says towns like Manchester are seeing huge increases in people opting for absentee ballots.
“Because of COVID, we allowed them for all voters in 2020 and now in this election to get an absentee ballot,” said Merrill.
You can still cast those absentee ballots on Election Day. It just needs to be in a dropbox by 8 p.m.
But if you want the same option in years ahead, House Speaker Matt Ritter says you better turn out next November.
“Next year in 2022, they’ll be a constitutional amendment. I hope you’ll take that very seriously if you’ve enjoyed voting by absentee ballot from the comfort of your home without having to have some reason. That’s sort of rooted in the way they worked 60 years ago. I hope you’ll vote for the constitutional amendment next November.”
Same-day registration is an option in Connecticut. If you haven’t registered to vote yet, you can still do so. But not at your polling place. You’ll need to head to the town hall.