Ridgefield candidates forum will be Oct. 4, on Zoom

Voicing beliefs, staking out positions, and answering voters’ questions, candidates seeking to represent Ridgefield in the Connecticut legislature — both the state House and Senate — are expected to take part in a League of Women Voters forum via Zoom this weekend.

The forum will be available on Zoom through the Ridgefield Library’s website this Sunday, Oct. 4, at 2 p.m., but people must preregister to get the link to watch it.

To watch the Candidates Forum on Oct. 4 online, go to the Ridgefield Library’s website to register at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org or call 203-438-2282 to receive the Zoom webinar link.

“This is an opportunity for constituents to determine whose views they agree with; who is the most knowledgeable on the issues; and who has the leadership qualities they are looking for,” said Marilyn Carroll, president of the Ridgefield League of Women Voters. It’s a chance to judge the candidates’ characters, communication skills, and ability to think on their feet.”

The forum will feature the candidates hoping to follow retiring state Rep. John Frey in representing Ridgefield’s 111th House District — Republican Bob Hebert and Democrat Aimee Berger-Girvalo.

It will also have the competitors for the State Senate’s 26th District, Democrat Will Haskell and Republican Kim Healy. The 26th State Senate District includes all of Ridgefield, Redding and Wilton along with parts of Weston, Westport, New Canaan and Bethel.

One candidate is expected from the 138th House District — which includes a slice of Ridgefield north of George Washington Highway and Canterbury Lane, along with parts of Danbury and New Fairfield. Democrat Kenneth Gucker accepted the League’s invitation, but Republican Emile Buzaid said he’d be unable to attend due to a prior commitment.

The League of Women Voters of Ridgefield and the Ridgefield Library are co-sponsoring the virtual candidates forum.

The League of course has questions, but questions were also collected from members of the public who pre-registered for the forum on the library’s website between Sept. 26 and Sept 30. The League required that questions submitted must be brief, of general interest to the audience, and directed to all candidates.

League President Carroll wanted to remind voters that all four polling locations in Ridgefield will be open on election day, Nov. 3, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. She added that Ridgefield has a “Safe Polls Plan” that will ensure that safety, sanitizing, and social distancing rules to protect voters and poll workers will be followed.

Voters will also have the option to vote by absentee ballot if they prefer, by filling out the absentee ballot application which was mailed mid September to all voters who had registered by Aug. 27. Absentee applications can be returned by dropping the envelope in the State Ballot Drop Box at the Bailey Avenue entrance of Town Hall or mailing it back in the pre-paid envelope via the USPS to the Town Clerk at 400 Main Street, Ridgefield, 06877.

Absentee ballots will be mailed out beginning Oct. 2 to those who sent in an applications for them.

Carroll encouraged people to follow the directions carefully when filling out the ballot and return it by using the Ballot Drop Box or USPS mail.

Voters can check online to see if their absentee ballot has been received by the Town Clerk by going to the CT Secretary of State’s website at myvotect.gov/lookup or portaldir.ct.gov/sots/LookUp.aspx.