Absentee Ballot applications can be picked up in the West Hartford Town Clerk’s office and are also available online, and the actual ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
By Ronni Newton
The deadline is fast approaching for West Hartford residents who need to vote in the Nov. 6 election by absentee ballot.
“If you will be out of town or not able to make it to the polls on Election Day due to illness, disability, military service, election duties or religious reasons, you are eligible to vote by absentee ballot,” Town Clerk Essie Labrot said. Voting by absentee ballot is not the same as “early voting,” a practice that is permitted in 37 other states as well as the District of Columbia.
Applications may be picked up in the clerk’s office or downloaded here from the Town Clerk’s website. Monday, Nov. 5, is the last day to apply for absentee ballots, Labrot said.
Labrot said that once applications are received, ballots are mailed out by the next day. Voters may also come to the Town Clerk’s office in person to complete the application and receive a ballot. She noted that each person who applies for an application must sign it with an original signature. For example, parents cannot sign for their child, or spouses for each other.
The other critical date that those voting by absentee ballots must be aware of, Labrot said, is Nov. 6. All ballots must be received in the Town Clerk’s office by 8 p.m. on Election Day, which is Tuesday, Nov. 6, or they will not be counted.
Labrot said that as of Tuesday, 2,657 absentee ballots had been issued. “That’s more than any other town in the state,” she said. Typically about 90 percent of the absentee ballots issued are returned, and as of Tuesday afternoon 68 percent had already been returned.
In the last state election, there were 1,760 absentee ballots, and Labrot said that at this rate she is expecting close to 3,000 absentee ballots. In the 2016 presidential election, there were more than 4,000 absentee ballots cast.
For those who wish to fill out their application and pick up an absentee ballot in person, the Town Clerk’s office is open Monday and Wednesday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Tuesday from 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.. This Thursday, in order to accommodate absentee ballot voters, the office will open at 8:30 a.m. and will remain open until 7 p.m. Friday hours this week only are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
The deadline for online or in-person voter registration was Oct. 30, but Election Day voter registration will be available at Town Hall, in the Town Clerk’s office.
For further information on Registering to vote, please call the Registrar of Voter’s office at 860-561-7451, and for Absentee Ballot information, contact the Town Clerk’s office at 860-561- 7430.
Sample ballots for West Hartford’s three State House districts can be found below.
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