For primary, absentee voting is opened up due to pandemic
Never-Trumper Repubicans can vote for Roque ‘Rocky’ De La Fuente, a California businessman, rather than the incumbent president. Bernie Bros will still have a chance to vote for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders — or Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard — to register a protest vote against Joe Biden as the Democratic candidate for president.
But the real contest will be Kim Healy versus William Duff — for the Republican Party’s 26th District State Senate nomination.
Connecticut’s primary is coming Aug. 11 and includes both Republican and Democratic presidential ballots, although the consensus is that the outcomes in those races are decided — it’s a pretty safe bet that November’s election will come down to Republican Trump against Democrat Biden.
All eligible Connecticut voters — registered Republicans and Democrats, but not unaffiliated voters — were mailed absentee ballot applications after the July fourth weekend, although polling places will still be open for in-person voting on Aug. 11.
The absentee ballot applicaitons were sent out under an executive order from Governor Ned Lamont to ease rules on absentee balloting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Ridgefield for in-person voting on Aug. 11, voters from all three districts will vote at East Ridge Middle School, 10 East Ridge Road. That polling place will be open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. on primary day.
“CDC guidelines will be followed for poll workers as well as voters. Face coverings will be required and surface sanitizing will occur regularly throughout the day,” said Gerri Lewis, public information officer with the Ridgefield office of emergency management.
The most competitive and the most local contest in the primary here is between two Republicans seeking the GOP nomination for the 26th District State Senate seat, which serves the towns of Ridgefield, Redding, Wilton and parts of Westport, Weston, New Canaan and Bethel.
In that race Kim Healy of Wilton, a CPA who is treasurer of the Wilton Library, is the candidate endorsed by the Republican convention back in May. She is being challenged for the GOP nomination by William Duff, a former state representative from Bethel.
The winner will face Democratic incumbent State Senator Will Haskell in November.
Residents who want to vote by absentee ballot rather than going to to the polls must complete the application for an absentee ballot and mail it to the town clerk.
Absentee ballots will then be mailed beginning July 21 to all who submitted applications.
Ridgefield’s Office of Emergency Management offered this description of how people can then vote.
“Upon receiving the official absentee ballot, the following steps must be followed:
“A) complete the absentee ballot by filling in the oval next to your choice using a black pen;
“B) insert the completed ballot into the B inner envelope, seal and sign it;
“C) then put it in the outer envelope.
“It can be mailed to the town clerk or deposited in the official ballot receptacle located at the Bailey Avenue entrance of Town Hall.
“All ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on August 11.”
Join and vote
While it is too late for people in one political party to switch to another and still vote in the primary — May 11 was the deadline fir that — new voters or unaffiliated voters can still join a party and participate in its Aug. 11 primary.
For in-person enrollment (by going to town hall) in a party by new voters and unaffiliated voters the deadline to join a party and still be able to vote in its primary is Monday, Aug. 10— the day before the primary.
For mail-in applications the deadline for new voters and unaffiliated voters to enroll in a party and be eligible to vote in its Aug. 11 primary is Thursday, Aug. 6.
“For new voters, mail-in applications must be postmarked, or received by Registrar of Voters or voter registration agency, by this date,” said Ridgefiled Democratic Registrar of Voters Cindy Bruno. “For unaffiliated voters, the mail-in application must be received (not merely postmarked) by the Registrar of Voters by this deadline.”