Elections Government Politics

West Hartford Town Clerk: Some Campaigns Mailing Absentee Ballot Applications to Voters

Secure Absentee Ballot boxes are in front of West Hartford Town Hall (near the parking lot) and can be used to drop off applications as well as completed ballots. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Absentee ballot applications only need to be completed by those who will not be voting at the polls on Election Day.

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford Town Clerk Essie Labrot said her office has received a significant number of requests for absentee ballot applications from representatives of candidate campaigns, and she wants to ensure that voters are not confused, particularly if they receive unsolicited – or multiple – applications.

“Anyone can be a distributor of five or more absentee ballot applications, as long as it’s disclosed,” she said. “It’s totally legal, and they register with the Town Clerk’s Office.” The applications are then numbered consecutively and stamped indicating the applicable municipality.

Labrot said those distributing ballot applications must return a list of those to whom they send the ballots to the Town Clerk’s Office prior to Election Day, and must return the Distributor Application List marked “none” if they do not distribute any.

Thus far in West Hartford, she said the Lamont campaign has requested 13,312 absentee ballot applications, the Connecticut GOP has requested 1,900, and Yopp for State Representative has requested 500.

Labrot does not know what mailing lists are being used by the campaigns that will be sending out the ballot applications, and noted that there are some residents who may receive more than one, including those eligible as permanent absentee voters because of physical disability or another valid reason specified under Public Act 12-57.

The last time Labrot recalls a request for ballot applications of this magnitude was when Linda McMahon challenged U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy in 2012.

In 2020, amid the early stages of COVID-19 pandemic, the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s Office distributed absentee ballot applications to all registered voters prior to the presidential election. The Town Clerk’s Office, however, never sends out unsolicited applications, nor are ballots ever sent out without a valid application.

Labrot hopes that people won’t be confused if they receive multiple applications, or if they receive an unsolicited application. “If you do not need an absentee ballot and receive an application in the mail, simply discard,” she said.

“People don’t need to send in another one,” she said, referring to those who have already submitted their application and are wondering why they have not yet received a ballot.

The Town Clerk’s Office has already received close to 300 ballot applications in advance of the Nov. 8 election, and ballots will be sent out beginning Oct. 7.

For the first time in several years there will be supervised voting at nursing homes this year, Labrot said. That process is handled by the Registrars of Voters Office, and is by appointment only for nursing home residents who are unable to travel to a polling place.

Anyone voting by absentee ballot must follow the law, and there remain specific eligibility requirements in Connecticut for voting by absentee ballot. The following reasons are listed on the ballot application:

  • My active service in the Armed Forces of the United States
  • My absence from my town of residence
  • Sickness
  • My religious tenets forbid secular activity on the day of the election
  • My duties as a primary, election or referendum official at a polling place other than my own during all of the hours of voting
  • Physical disability

The registration form for those who are distributing unsolicited absentee ballot applications includes specific language with the reasons that a voter can utilize an absentee ballot, as well as the following warning: “Voting by absentee ballot if you are not eligible to do so for one of the six reasons listed above can subject you to civil and criminal penalties.”

Applications must be signed – and it must be an original signature – by the voter requesting the ballot, Labrot said. “It has to be the voter,” she said. Photocopies of signatures are not acceptable, parents cannot sign for their children who are away at college, or for a spouse. Signature by power of attorney is not permitted either.

While assistance can be provided with the application, Labrot said, “Anyone assisting a voter in filling out the application must also sign and include their name, address, and telephone number in Section VII.”

Absentee ballot applications can be deposited in the secure drop boxes at the entrance to Town Hall or in the box at the Faxon Library in Elmwood. Completed ballots will be able to be deposited in the drop boxes as well.

Applications as well as completed ballots can also be mailed (West Hartford Town Clerk, 50 South Main St., Room 313, West Hartford, CT 06107), but Labrot said to send applications in as soon as possible, and once received send in the ballot as soon as possible. Completed ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022.

More information can be found on the Town Clerk’s webpage.


Questions regarding absentee ballots can be emailed to [email protected].

Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford! Click the blue button below to become a supporter of We-Ha.com and our efforts to continue producing quality journalism.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author


We-Ha.com is the place to go for the latest information about West Hartford – a town that "has it all"! We-Ha.com is part of and proud of our community, and we bring a hyperlocal focus to news and features about the people, schools, businesses, real estate, sports, restaurants, charitable events, arts, and more. Contact us at: [email protected] or [email protected].

Leave a Comment

Translate »