Advanced polling in place for 2024 elections

SALISBURY — Early voting is now a reality in Connecticut.

A ballot question in the 2022 general election supported amending the state constitution to authorize the Connecticut General Assembly to provide by law for in-person early voting before an election. The measure passed handily.

The legislature passed an early voting bill in May 2023, and Gov. Ned Lamont signed it in June 2023.

Voter registrars from Salisbury and Cornwall met at Salisbury Town Hall Wednesday, Feb. 28, to go over procedures and to get the word out.

Maureen Dell and Jenny Law, Salisbury’s Republican and Democratic registrars, both emphasized that the new early voting rules require some effort and planning.

There are four days of early voting before the Tuesday, April 2, presidential primary. They are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 26; Wednesday, March 27; Thursday, March 28; and Saturday, March 30.

Dell reminded voters that Connecticut has a closed primary system. Voters must be registered as Republicans or Democrats to vote in their party’s primary.

The deadline for changing party affiliation was Jan. 2.

Unaffiliated voters who wish to vote in the early voting period for the primary must enroll in a party by noon Monday, March 25.

Residents who are not registered to vote but wish to vote in the early voting period before the primary must do so with the registrars in their town by noon on the business day before the day they wish to vote.

Monday, April 1, at noon is the deadline for registering in person with the registrar or town clerk to vote in-person April 2 the primary election day. This is also the deadline for unaffiliated voters to enroll in a party to vote in-person April 2.

Dell, Law, and Jane Ridgway (Democratic registrar in Cornwall) all expressed some variation of “When in doubt, call or email your registrars, and please don’t wait until the last minute.”

The primary ballots include the following choices:

Democratic Party: Joe Biden, Dean Philips, Cenk Uygur, Marianne Williamson.

Republican Party: Ryan Binkley, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Donald Trump.

The completed early voting ballots are put in sealed envelopes and stored in a secure area of the familiar ballot-reading machines. Nobody touches them until after the polls close on Election Day. There is no early counting of early votes.

On the early voting days, the town halls will have the usual 75-foot restriction on politicking.

The general election Tuesday, Nov. 5, will have 14 days of early voting.

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