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About A Quarter Of Connecticut's Voters Have Already Voted

Katrina McKelvin of New London, Conn. on Aug. 6, 2020 deposits her absentee ballot for the Aug. 11 primary in a special box that has been set up outside the New London City Hall.
Susan Haigh
Associated Press
Katrina McKelvin of New London, Conn. on Aug. 6, 2020 deposits her absentee ballot for the Aug. 11 primary in a special box that has been set up outside the New London City Hall.

Voter turnout in Connecticut is at 25 percent ahead of Election Day. That’s according to Secretary of the State Denise Merrill based on the number of registered voters and absentee ballots returned so far.

Polls are open in Connecticut from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Absentee ballots must be received by town clerks or inserted into drop boxes in each town by 8 p.m. on November 3.

Merrill reminds voters headed to the polls tomorrow to wear a mask. Merrill says maskless voters will have the option to vote curbside at their polling place.

“It is a question of public safety versus your right to vote," Merrill said. "You are getting your right to vote. Absolutely no one will be refused that constitutional right, even if they are being insistent about not wearing a mask, but it doesn’t mean they are necessarily going to get to go into the polling place with other people.”

Merrill said lines will appear longer than usual because voters will need to stay six feet away from others, but lines will move quickly.

Merrill reminds voters to drop absentee ballots at the secure boxes in front of town hall before 8pm on Election Day. It’s too late to use the mail.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong says everyone has a constitutional right to vote, even if they do not wear a mask.

“You do not have a constitutional right to endanger other people," Tong said. "You don’t have a constitutional right to make other people sick and it is the law in the State of Connecticut right now that you should wear a mask. We are doing everything that we can to accommodate voters. The registrars are giving multiple options to people if they choose not to wear a mask.”

The entire General Assembly is on the ballot. Senate Democrats hope to secure two more seats to gain a supermajority. Republicans say Democrats have been ineffective with their one-party rule in the state.

And the races to watch for Connecticut’s U.S. House seats include:

  • Incumbent Democrat Rosa DeLauro faces Republican Margaret Streicker and Green candidate Justin Paglino in the state’s 3rd Congressional District.
  • Incumbent Democrat Jahana Hayes versus Republican David Sullivan and Independent Bruce Walczak in CT5.
  • Incumbent Democrat John Larson faces Republican Mary Fay and Green candidate Tom McCormick in CT1.
  • Incumbent Democrat Joe Courtney versus Republican Justin Anderson, Liberterian Daniel Reale and Green candidate Cassandra Martinaeau for CT2.
  • Incumbent Democrat Jim Himes faces Republican Jonathan Riddle and Independent Brian Merlen for CT4.

Copyright 2020 WSHU

Cassandra Basler comes to WSHU by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. She recently graduated with a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship, which means she has two years to report on an issue anywhere in the world (she's still figuring out where she'd like to go). She grew up just north of Detroit, Michigan, where she worked for the local public radio affiliate. She also wrote about her adventures sampling the city cuisines for the first guidebook to be published in three decades, Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An Insider's Guide to Detroit. Before that, Cassandra studied English, German and Urban Studies at University of Michigan. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.
A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's afternoon news editor. Formally WAMC’s Berkshire bureau chief, he has reported for public radio stations, including bylines with WSHU, WNYC, WBUR, WNPR and NPR. J.D. has reported on healthcare and small businesses for "Long Island Business News" and real estate and land-use for The Press News Group newspapers. He also hosted, produced and engineered award-winning programs at WUSB Stony Brook. An avid fencer in his free time, J.D. holds a B.A. in journalism and sociology from Stony Brook University and an M.S. in communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.
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