If Hurricane Sandy has kept you from registering to vote Secretary of the State Denise Merrill has this reminder: All Connecticut voters have until tomorrow, Nov. 1, to register. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy over the weekend signed an executive order extending voter registration to assist those who weren’t able to get out and do so by Tuesday’s deadline because of the hurricane.
Following the massive damage left by the storm, Merrill will also hold a conference call at 10 a.m. today to assess how local officials are dealing with the election preparations are as a result of the storm. Her office has been in constant contact with emergency management personnel at the state and local level since before the storm arrived, and has also maintained regular contact with Connecticut’s electric power utilities in the event that polling places or town offices lack electricity, her office said in a press release today.
“Hurricane Sandy is clearly a major disaster for our state, and while many residents are just trying to pick up the pieces, our Presidential election is less than a week away,” Merrill said. “I urge anyone who has not yet registered to take advantage of this opportunity if you can. We are also now in the assessment mode and will guide our election administration partners on the local level through the difficulties presented by this serious storm. After this morning’s conference call we will be able to see how many polling places lack power, and where help is needed. The good news is that we have a core of extremely dedicated, hard working local officials who are committed to making sure voters can cast ballots next Tuesday. We are fully supportive of their efforts and we will help guide them through this difficult period as we have done in the past. Our communities are very resilient and I am confident we will be able to conduct a successful election, even in less than ideal circumstances.”
State law allows local polling place locations to be changed prior to an election if both Democratic and Republican Registrars agree to a plan to move or consolidate polling precincts. Similar decisions were made in the aftermath of the rare October snowstorm last year that hit just one week before the general election. Registrars and town clerks have also offered to help colleagues who lack electricity by offering their own office space to print and prepare voter lists, and enter newly registered voters into the system.
The secretary of state’s website has registration forms that can be downloaded. You can also check if you are registered to vote, see where your polling place is located or download an application for an absentee ballot.