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In-Person Voting Will Still Happen At All Conn. Polling Locations, Despite Power Outages

A ballot drop box has been placed outside Woodbridge Town Hall.
A ballot drop box has been placed outside Woodbridge Town Hall.

There’s a primary next week. And though absentee balloting has been the talk, the question now is whether the power outages caused by Tropical Storm Isaias will affect in-person voting.

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Even before Isaias hit on Tuesday, the Secretary of the State’s office had asked Eversource to make polling places a priority. Some are still without power.

Sue Larsen, president of the Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut, said she was working to get power back to those locations. 

“We are in the process now of working with the Secretary of the State’s office to get all the polling locations that do not have power,” Larsen said, “get that list together to give to the governor in order for him to work with Eversource to get those up and running by Tuesday.”

Gabe Rosenberg, communications director for the secretary of the state, says the office is waiting to hear from town clerks and registrars about the status of power in their polling places.

“What we do as we get reports from local election officials about specific town halls and specific polling places is notifying Eversource these are high priorities to get back on because of election day,” Rosenberg said. 

Regardless of power, Rosenberg says towns should know what to do. Each town has an emergency plan, plus the experience of going through an election season without power after storms in 2011 and 2012. 

For polling places still without electricity on Tuesday, Larsen said voters could see polls adopt workarounds like running on backup power or using paper voter lists.

Ali Oshinskie is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

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