State offers training for safer elections

LITCHFIELD — The 2024 Governor’s Emergency Planning and Preparedness Initiative (EPPI) will take place June 12.

Extended voting hours, with the addition of early voting for the upcoming election cycle, may leave polling stations vulnerable to disruption. The upcoming EPPI training aims to alleviate the strain on Town Halls by properly preparing municipal workers for crisis response protocols ahead of time.

Hosted in collaboration with the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS), there will be two sessions available June 12: in the morning from 9 a.m. to noon, and in the evening from 6 to 9 p.m.

This training will focus on inevitable emergency procedures. The goal will be to educate town leaders on best practices for managing disruptions during the voting process.

Scenarios will test the response capabilities of representatives. selectmen, town managers, information technology officers, emergency responders, town clerks, registrars of voters, political party committee chairs, and polling site moderators are all encouraged to attend.

If not already in place, towns will receive guidance on creating an election emergency contingency plan along with a local emergency operations plan. These plans will determine the roles and responsibilities of key personnel during a crisis while laying out the procedure for declaring an emergency, an evacuation plan, and a hazardous materials response protocol.

Municipalities will learn how to test all communications means and identify alternate avenues for communication if needed. Public messaging tips will be provided, including how to relay information to non-English speakers.

More information on EPPI can be attained by contacting DEMHS at demhs.eppi.questions@ct.gov.

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