Thursday, April 25, 2024

Ask the Registrar


Your place for answers about voting and local elections in Stratford.

By Registrar James Simon (D)
July 2022 Edition

Q: Why don’t newspapers print those old-fashioned Voter Guides that they used to do, so we know what to expect on Election Day in Stratford?

The Connecticut Post has done a terrific job of providing such information for the Aug. 9th Democratic and Republican primary elections in Stratford and elsewhere. Take a look:

The Stratford Crier and The Patch also have offered, online, useful question-and-answer sessions with candidates in the past. Look for them as the Nov. 8th  general election approaches.

Q: Is it true you cannot use an absentee ballot to vote in primary elections?

That would come as a surprise to the 86 Stratford registered voters who applied for and have already received an Absentee Ballot (as of July 13th).  Given summer vacations, I expect more use of the ABs leading up to the Aug. 9th primary.

To apply for an AB, contact Town Clerk Susan Pawluk, 203-385-4020

The state has again relaxed requirements to qualify for such a ballot. Under one of the changes, ABs can be used by people with a sickness, or a physical disability — or anyone who cares for a person with such medical problems.

Reminder: you must be a member of a political party to vote in that party’s primary. It is too late to switch from one major party to another. If you are currently registered as Unaffiliated, you can switch until the day before the primary election on Aug. 9. To check your registration:

Q: Will those white Ballot Drop Boxes be available again, on the side of Town Hall, for absentee ballots?

The Drop Boxes are now mandated, under state law, for every Connecticut election. I am not aware of any local voter who reported a problem in using them, even in the 2020 presidential election when many of the 10,000 Stratford voters using Absentee Ballots also used the Drop Boxes.

Q: I hate to wait in line to vote. How can I best avoid it?

It should not be a problem in the Aug. 9th primary election, when less than a quarter of Stratford’s registered voters traditionally take part. But in all elections, turnout tends to be highest from 6-8 a.m., at noontime, and 5-7 p.m.

Q: Will we be getting a new Connecticut Secretary of State?

You already did. Starting July 1st, former Associate Attorney General Mark F. Kohler began serving as head of the office due to the resignation of Denise Merrill, who left six months early due to personal reasons. Kohler is not seeking election to the position in November, so it is an open seat that has attracted multiple candidates from both parties.

In the Aug. 9th primary, Democrats can choose between Stephanie Thomas and Maritza Bond. Republicans will choose among Dominic Rapini, Terri Wood and Brock Weber. See the link to The Connecticut Post voter guide for background information on the candidates.

One big job for whomever is elected Secretary of State: decide how to replace Connecticut’s aging, but still very effective, voting machines. The state wisely chose the optical scanning approach, with paper ballots to provide safeguards and facilitate recounts, some 15 years ago. But the current model is no longer manufactured, and the outgoing Secretary of State decided to let her successor make the decision.

More Questions? Please send them to Registrar Jim Simon: This is not an official publication of the Town of Stratford. (Vol. 2, No. 7; July 2022)

  • Our ROV website for additional Information:





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