Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Special Edition: 2024 Early Voting in Stratford

Share

Ask the Registrar – Stratford, CT.

Your place for answers about voting and local elections in Stratford

By Registrar of Voters James Simon (D)

In November 2022, Connecticut approved the use of Early Voting (EV) in elections. The first election to have EV available – the CT presidential preference primary on April 2, 2024 – is about eight weeks away. Here is a rundown on what to look for:

Q: In Stratford, where will I be able to vote early, and when?

A: You have the option to go to the Baldwin Center (1000 West Broad St.) on Tuesday, March 26; Wednesday, March 27; Thursday, March 28; and Saturday March 30 and take part in Early Voting from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Other options are to vote via Absentee Ballot if you met criteria such as being sick or away on business (https://portal.ct.gov/SOTS/Election-Services/Voter-Information/Absentee-Voting) or to vote at your usual polling location on April 2nd.

To vote in a Democratic or Republican primary, you must be registered with the party. If you are Unaffiliated, you can join the party beforehand in order to cast a ballot. 

Q: What will Early Voting look like in Stratford?

A: While we are still working out final details, most people will park in the Baldwin Center lot, behind the Library, and directly enter the room called The Studio which is accessible from the parking lot. You will present an ID, and your name will be recorded as having voted.

An election worker will generate a sticker with your name and address, place it on the outside of an envelope, and give it to you with a ballot for your particular party. You will go to a privacy booth, fill out your ballot as usual, put it inside the envelope, and place the envelope into a white Ballot Drop mailbox.

The envelopes will be counted each night by election workers from different parties, secured to avoid tampering, and brought to a Town Hall vault for safekeeping. The same process will be followed for each of the four days. The ballots will not be opened until Election Day, when they will be put through a normal vote tabulator.

Q: What if I change my mind about whom to vote for?

A: You cannot change your ballot, and since you will have been recorded as having voted, you will not be able to try to vote on Election Day.

Q: What is your biggest worry about Early Voting?

A: Long lines. Most other states have some form of Early Voting. Based on their experience, we project perhaps 30 percent of eligible Stratford voters may take advantage of it.  We are working to reduce the chance of long lines.

If you are interested in Early Voting, we encourage you to go on the Wednesday or Thursday to avoid lines; other states have found there is a surge of voters at the start (Tuesday) and the end (Saturday) of the process.

Q. Do you expect this to produce a big increase in voter turnout in Stratford?

A: No, based on the experience in other states. Early Voting will be convenient for some people and will give you another way to cast a ballot. But it often just shifts voters away from Election Day balloting, Absentee Voting, and the other ways of casting a ballot, based on the experience elsewhere.

The lack of competitive contests in 2024 for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations also may dampen turnout in the April 2nd presidential primary. Our best guess is 25% of Stratford’s 19,144 registered Democrats and Republicans – or 4,786 voters – will cast a ballot. If 30 percent of them come through the Baldwin Center’s early voting, that means up to 1,500 voters will be standing in line to use Early Voting over the four days.

MORE QUESTIONS? SEND THEM TO STRATFORD REGISTRAR JAMES SIMON; jsimon@townofstratford.com. This is not an official publication of the Town of Stratford. (Vol. 4, No. 1; January 2024)

James Simon   

Registrar of Voters (D)   

Town of Stratford2725 Main St.   

Stratford

203 385 4049;

 jsimon@townofstratford.com 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read more

Local News