It’s election season in the year of COVID-19 and the candidates running to represent Ridgefielders in the state legislature will discuss their candidacies and positions — and take questions from the public — in a virtual forum.

The Ridgefield League of Women Voters and the Ridgefield Library are co-sponsoring a virtual candidates forum via Zoom on Sunday, Oct. 4, at 2 p.m. The forum is expected to include the candidates for the Connecticut Legislature’s 111th House District, Republican Robert Hebert and Democrat Aimee Berger-Girvalo, as well as 138th District’s Kenneth Gucker, a Democrat seeking re-election. (The Republican candidate in the 138th District, Emile Buzaid, declined to participate due to a prior commitment.) Also participating will be the two candidates for the State Senate’s 26th District, which includes Ridgefield, Democrat Will Haskell and Republican Kim Healy.

Members of the public who register in advance for the forum on the library’s website may submit questions for the candidates by emailing the League at inforlwv@gmail.com from Sept. 26 to Sept. 30. Questions submitted must be brief, of general interest to the audience, directed to all candidates and cannot be about personal matters.

To watch the Candidates Forum online on Oct. 4, go to the the library’s website to register at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org or call 203-438-2282 to receive the Zoom webinar link. You must register on the library website to receive the link to watch the forum; https://ridgefieldlibrary.librarymarket.com/events/online-candidates-forum-ct-state-legislature.

“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 League of Women Voters President Marilyn Carroll.

“It’s a chance to judge the candidates’ characters, communication skills, and ability to think on their feet,” she said.

“As a nonpartisan organization the League doesn’t support or oppose political candidates or parties,” Carroll said. “During these challenging times, it is especially important that we provide voters with opportunities to become well informed, educated electors ready to cast their ballots with confidence, and we and the library hope this virtual format will help them do that.”

Polls, absentees

Carroll also wanted to remind voters that all four polling districts in town will be open on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 6 a.m.-8 p.m, and the town has a “Safe Polls Plan” with safety, sanitizing, and social distancing rules to protect voters and poll workers to follow.

She said voters also have the option to vote by absentee ballot if they prefer by filling out the absentee ballot application which is being mailed to all registered voters. 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 prepaid envelope via the USPS to the town clerk at 400 Main Street.

Absentee ballots will be sent to those who sent in an application and will be mailed out beginning Oct. 2. She encouraged everyone 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 the state’s website at myvote.ct.gov/lookup.