Elections Government

West Hartford Voters: What You Need to Know About Election Day

"I Voted" sticker. Photo credit: Ronni Newton, (we-ha.com file photo)

Many West Hartford voters will cast their ballots at a different location in 2022 than in past years.

By Ronni Newton

At the upcoming Nov. 8, 2022 general election, some voters will be casting their ballots at different polling places – locations that will be their polling places for the next 10 years.

West Hartford’s registrars of voters sent pink postcards were mailed to all registered voters in advance of the August primaries informing them of their official voting location, and orange postcards were also sent to all voters about two weeks ago. Anyone registered should receive a card even if their polling place hasn’t changed.

Voters can also confirm that they are registered to vote, and find out their polling place, on the Secretary of the State’s “Look Up” site. All polling places are open on Tuesday, Nov. 8 from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. Anyone in line at 8 p.m. will be able to vote, according to West Hartford Town Clerk Essie Labrot, who shared important information about the upcoming election during a We-Ha Roundtable discussion last week. That discussion, which covers absentee voting and the ballot question, as well as the new districts, can be watched on YouTube below.

The changes in the polling places are the result of redistricting which was required to comply with the 2020 census. The process takes place every 10 years, and is conducted by a bipartisan committee of members of the General Assembly.

The state’s redistricting panel updated the boundaries of legislative districts, and those changes have impacted West Hartford where as of the next statewide election the town will have five – rather than three – state representatives

Signage directs voters at a polling place in West Hartford. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Where are West Hartford’s polling places?

West Hartford previously had nine polling places and nine town districts – three for each state representative.

As a result of the statewide realignment, the town needed to redraw its own districts, and did so with a bipartisan committee of Town Council members. Deputy Mayor Liam Sweeney chaired the committee and the other members were Democrat Adrienne Billings-Smith and Republicans Mark Zydanowicz and Alberto Cortes.

Both parties worked well together throughout the process, Sweeney told the Council, which unanimously approved the plan at its March 22, 2022 meeting.

The new arrangement has eight polling places, but because slivers of West Hartford are now represented by other state representatives, the town’s first and fourth districts are split into 1-1 and 1-2 and 4-1 and 4-2. Both 1-1 and 1-2 will vote at King Philip Middle School, while 4-1 and 4-2 will vote at Charter Oak International Academy, but there are separate entrances at each site depending on the district in which the voter resides.

As of the November election, a slice of the northeast corner of West Hartford (the town’s new district 1-1), which had been part of the 18th State House District represented by Jillian Gilchrest, will become part of the 15th District. That seat is currently held by Bobby Gibson, a Democrat who also represents Bloomfield and a portion of Windsor, and who is running unopposed for reelection.

A slice of the southeast corner (the town’s new district 4-1), formerly part of the 20th District represented by Kate Farrar, will become part of the 6th District as of November. That seat is held by Edwin Vargas of Hartford, who is also unopposed.

The realignment resulted in some of the former polling locations being clustered in the same district. For example Braeburn Elementary School – one of the town’s historically busiest polling places – and Sedgwick Middle School ended up in the same district, as did Conard High School and Wolcott Elementary School.

“Wolcott is no longer a polling place, and all those voters will be voting at Conard,” Sweeney said. Braeburn is no longer a polling place either, and those who formerly voted at that location have been reassigned to various other locations depending on their address.

Bugbee Elementary School has been added as a new polling place for a large swath of the town.

The new districts are shown on the map below, and the following is a list of polling places by district.

Map of West Hartford voting districts. Town of West Hartford website

The Voting District Map can also be viewed online here.

Who is on the ballot?

Several races are uncontested, and within West Hartford there are 10 different ballots depending on the voting district, but here is a comprehensive list of candidates and the party for which their names appear on the ballots.

Governor/ Lieutenant Governor

  • Ned Lamont and Susan Bysiewicz (Democratic Party)
  • Bob Stefanowski and Laura Devlin (Republican Party)
  • Ned Lamont and Susan Bysiewicz (Griebel Frank For CT Party)
  • Robert Hotaling and Stewart “Chip” Beckett (Independent Party)
  • Ned Lamont and Susan Bysiewicz (Working Families Party)

U.S. Senator

  • Richard Blumenthal (Democratic Party)
  • Leora Levy (Republican Party)
  • Richard Blumenthal (Working Families Party)

U.S. House Representative (1st District)

  • John Larson (Democratic Party)
  • Larry Lazor (Republican Party)
  • John Larson (Working Families Party)
  • Mary L. Sanders (Green Party)

State Senator (5th Senate District)

  • Derek Slap (Democratic Party — unopposed)

State Representative (6th House District)

  • Edwin Vargas Jr. (Democratic Party — unopposed)
  • Edwin Vargas Jr. (Working Families Party — unopposed)

State Representative (15th House District)

  • Bobby Gibson (Democratic Party — unopposed)

State Representative (18th House District)

  • Jillian Gilchrest (Democratic Party — unopposed)

State Representative (19th House District)

  • Tammy Exum (Democratic Party — unopposed)

State Representative (20th House District)

  • Kate Farrar (Democratic Party)
  • Anastasia Yopp (Republican Party)
  • Kate Farrar (Working Families Party)

Secretary of the State

  • Stephanie Thomas (Democratic Party)
  • Dominic Rapini (Republican Party)
  • Cynthia Jennings (Independent Party)
  • Stephanie Thomas (Working Families Party)

State Treasurer

  • Erick Russell (Democratic Party)
  • Harry Arora (Republican Party)
  • Jennifer Baldwin (Independent Party)
  • Erick Russell (Working Families Party)
  • JoAnna Laiscell (Libertarian Party)

State Comptroller

  • Sean Scanlon (Democratic Party)
  • Mary Fay (Republican Party)
  • Sean Scanlon (Independent Party)
  • Sean Scanlon (Working Families Party)

Attorney General

  • William Tong (Democratic Party)
  • Jessica Kordas (Republican Party)
  • A.P. Pascarella (Independent Party)
  • William Tong (Working Families Party)
  • Ken Krayeske (Green Party)

Judge of Probate (West Hartford)

  • Owen Eagan (Democratic Party — unopposed)

Registrar of Voters for West Hartford

  • Elizabeth Rousseau (Democratic Party)
  • Beth Kyle (Republican Party)

Sample ballots, by district, can be viewed by clicking on the links below.

In addition, voters have the opportunity to respond yes or no to a ballot question regarding early voting. That question reads: “Shall the constitution of the State be amended to permit the General Assembly to provide for early voting?” Learn more here.

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)

Can I still vote by absentee ballot?

While it is too late to use the mail to apply to vote by absentee ballot, voters can still obtain ballots in person through 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7 at the office of the West Hartford Town Clerk, Room 313 at West Hartford Town Hall. An original signature is required on the application as well as the ballot. You can also click here to obtain an application.

Ballots can be returned to the secure Election Day drop boxes at either Town Hall (entrance near the flagpoles) or in the parking lot of the Faxon Branch Library, 1073 New Britain Avenue. Properly completed ballots must be received (including being deposited in the secure drop box) by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8 in order to be recorded.

The reasons for voting by absentee ballot include being unable to appear at your assigned polling place due to active military service, as well as absence from the town on election day, illness (the definition of “sickness” was expanded by the legislature this year), religious activities that forbid secular activity on the date of the election, duties as an election official at a polling place other than your assigned location, and physical disability.

According to Town Clerk Essie Labrot, as of last week more than 4,000 absentee ballots had been distributed and she expects a majority of them to be returned on time. The. process of opening and tabulating absentee ballots can begin at 10 a.m. on Election Day, she said.

Questions regarding Absentee Ballots may be sent to [email protected]..

Voter ID requirements

Before you vote at the polls, poll workers will ask for some form of identification such as a drivers’ license, utility bill, paycheck or other ID  to confirm your eligibility to vote. More details about valid forms of identification can be found on the Secretary of the State’s website.

What if I’m not registered by still want to vote?

Those who are eligible to vote, but have not yet registered, can do so on Election Day through the Election Day Registration process which will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8,  in Room 400 of West Hartford Town Hall, 50 South Main Street, from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.

All voters must be 18 years of age on Election Day in order to register. Proper identification must be provided, and includes a copy of a current and valid photo identification that shows your name and address, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document that shows your name and address. Further details, including FAQs, can be found here.

West Hartford’s Office of the Registrar of Voters will be open on Monday, Nov. 7, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and on Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. For more information, visit the Registrars of Voters webpage at www.westhartfordct.gov/vote/.

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