More than 10,000 absentee ballots were sent out to West Hartford voters for the August primary, but with just days left before the election, if you want your vote to count it would be best to bring your ballot to the drop boxes at Town Hall.
By Ronni Newton
Tuesday, Aug. 11 is primary day in Connecticut, and time is of the essence if you want your absentee ballot vote to count.
In addition to the presidential primaries, some West Hartford voters also have the ability to cast their votes in other contests.
Registered Republicans will chose between endorsed candidate Mary Fay – who is a West Hartford resident – and challenger Jim Griffin. The winner will be on the ticket in November to run against incumbent John Larson in the 1st Congressional District race, and Democrats in the 20th State House District will choose between endorsed candidate Sherry Haller and challenger Kate Farrar.
The Secretary of State’s Office utilized a mail house to send absentee ballot applications to every registered Democrat and Republican in the state, and once the ballots were completed, the mail house sent out the actual ballots on behalf of the Town Clerks. They were supposed to be sent out beginning July 21, but did not go out until at least a week later.
“We issued over 10,200 ballots,” West Hartford Town Clerk Essie Labrot said Sunday. Of those, about 9,000 were issued by the mail house, she said, but her office sent out the rest, including to many voters who had not received their ballots in a timely manner and needed to submit them as soon as possible.
Labrot said her own absentee ballot, which was sent out by the mail house, had a postmark of Aug. 2.
“As of yesterday we have received 2,777 back,” Labrot said Sunday, when she and Deputy Town Clerk Madonna King went to empty the ballot drop boxes at Town Hall.
“We are expecting a lot more back by Tuesday. Typically we get 90% return on absentee ballots mailed,” Labrot said, but more than 7,000 are still outstanding.
West Hartford’s main post office on Shield Street was without power for several days, and that has slowed the process for those who dropped their ballots in the mail. Labrot said she hopes most people who still need to submit their absentee ballots drop them off at the drop boxes at Town Hall.
Labrot previously provided details instructions on filling out the sections of the ballot and placing it in the envelope properly to ensure that your absentee ballot votes is counted.
To be counted, ballots must be received at Town Hall by 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11.
Polls are open Tuesday from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. for those wishing to vote in person. Only registered Republicans or Democrats are eligible to vote in their party’s primary.
Those who typically vote at Elmwood Community Center (West Hartford’s 4th District) will now be voting at Charter Oak International Academy, and Town Hall voters should also note that the lobby, rather than the auditorium, will be used as the polling place on Aug. 11.
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