Do you feel confused by all of the rules put into place for voting? Do you need help figuring out where to go and how to vote? This guide will answer all those questions and more to prepare you for this year’s presidential election on Tuesday, Nov. 3.
The first thing you should do is to make sure you are registered to vote. To check whether you are registered, visit vote.org and enter your information, including your name, address, and date of birth. If you are registered to vote, you are allowed to vote on Election Day at your registered polling place or by mail, as long as you drop off your ballot at your town election office by Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m., rather than actually mail it. The deadline to request an absentee ballot was Oct. 27.
To submit your absentee ballot, leave it in your town’s state ballot box. In Mansfield, the drop box is located in front of Town Hall. Over 600,000 residents have returned their absentee ballots in Connecticut as of Monday.
Speaking of Election Day, if you are not registered to vote, you can register to vote on Election Day at your town hall and select polling places. Polls in Connecticut are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.
When it comes to voting in Mansfield, polling stations include Mansfield Town Hall, Mansfield Library/Buchanan Auditorium and Mansfield Fire Station. To find your polling location, type CT Polling Locations into Google and fill in your address.
If you are in need of a ride to the polls, Lyft is offering 50% off rides up to $10 to polling locations across the country. This will run between 4 a.m. and 11 p.m.
If you or someone you know has a physical disability, Connecticut allows voting to be conducted through a touch screen or through a verbal device instead of with pen and paper. Connecticut also allows for assistance when casting a ballot. The only people not allowed to help a voter cast a ballot are the voter’s employer or agent of employer, an agent of a voter’s union or a candidate that appears on the ballot. The only exception to this rule is if the candidate is part of the immediate family of the voter who needs assistance.
The final question that remains is what happens if you are in quarantine on Election Day? In this situation, you would be hand-delivered an emergency ballot. Voters in quarantine must have a ballot at least six days before the polls close and they must sign a statement that they are unable to make it to the polls. Failure to do so will result in a one-year prison sentence or a $5,000 fine. The original intent behind this was to stop false statements from being made about why someone cannot make the polls. The law was written before COVID-19.
A final reminder that if you are voting in person on Election Day to make sure to bubble in your choices completely, or your vote will not count. Good luck to everyone voting.