Tuesday, October 03, 2023
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Legislatively Speaking
Legislatively Speaking: Make your vote count

By Alma Graham, CT State Grange Legislative Director

  OCTOBER 1, 2020 --

Voting is one of the most important things that we, as citizens, can do.  Voting gives we the people the power to control our government and shape policies for our nation as well as our state.  Doing so expresses your opinion on who you feel would be the best person as President to run this country and guide it in the direction you feel is best.  There are some who feel: why should they brother? The state is a safe state for a certain party or candidate and my vote will be a waste.  WELL, IT WILL NOT BE A WASTE!!  We have had very close elections in the past for many offices.  The last election for president was very close in some swing states.  A few more votes could have tipped the final tally to a different candidate.

We must remember that even thought this is a Presidential election year we are also voting on offices at different governmental levels in Connecticut.  We will be voting on all five Congressional districts for our National Representatives.  We do not have our National Senators up for election this season as they have 6-year terms which rotate so both are never up for reelection at the same time.  We will also be electing all of our State Senators and Representatives.  A few towns will also be electing some local officials.

Voting in the 2020 general elections will be tricky this year with the implementation of social distancing rules due to the COVID pandemic along with an anticipate higher turnout of voters in general.  States are anticipating a higher turnout of voters requesting absentee ballots.  The Connecticut Legislature approved COVID-19 as an acceptable reason for requesting absentee ballots.  Connecticut has already sent out absentee ballet request forms to all registered voters in the state.  If you did not get one and wish to vote by absentee ballot, you can request one online by going to Vote.org or to the State of Connecticut website.  On the Connecticut website, there is a link for Elections and Voting.  Under Voting Information, you will find a link for the Absentee Ballot request.  You can also contact your local town clerk’s office for an application.

If you decide to use an absentee ballot this election, it is suggested that you send in your ballot request form as soon as you can.  Towns are supposed to have drop boxes at their town halls that you can deposit your completed forms in in leu of mailing them.  The actual ballots should be sent to you in early October.  Again, it is suggested that you return your ballots early and again you can use the drop boxes at your local town halls.  Make sure that your information is accurate or your ballet may be discarded.

Due to this expected upswing in the use of mail in absentee voting, we must remember that the results of the election will obliviously take longer to tally.  The ballot box results will be known quickly but then they will have to count the mail in absentee ballots and add their results.   All we can do is hope that the process runs smoothly and the winner is determined accurately in a reasonable timeframe.


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