You can register to vote on Election Day

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STAMFORD — Did you ignore my dire warning to register to vote by last Tuesday or risk not participating in the Democratic process?

Never fear; turns out it’s not too late. Check out the below news release from Secretary of the State Denise Merrill about how to register to vote on Election Day:

Hartford:  Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today are reminding all eligible Connecticut voters (any U.S. citizen residing in the state age 18 or older) not yet registered to vote that Election Day Registration takes effect for the first time for the municipal elections on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.  Any eligible voter in Connecticut who wishes to cast a ballot but has not yet registered to vote is permitted to go to their Registrar of Voters office on Election Day, present the proper identifying documents, register to vote, and cast a ballot at their city or town hall.  Connecticut became the 11th state to enact Election Day voter registration in 2012 when Governor Malloy signed into law Public Act 12-56 which was given final passage by the Connecticut General Assembly on May 5, 2012.

“The right to vote and access to elections is a paramount right and responsibility of our democracy,” said Governor Malloy. “Same day voting helps to ensure that all citizens have a voice in their government.  I am proud of the work we’ve done in Connecticut to bring our electoral process into the 21st century by using technology to make voter registration more efficient and easier and not impede participation in our electoral process – while some states are moving in the opposite direction.”

“We are very excited to implement this long overdue reform in 2013 that will make it easier for our busy voters in Connecticut to cast a ballot,” said Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s chief elections official.  “Some states have had Election Day Registration in place for more than 40 years, and we have seen evidence that states allowing this practice see voter turnout percentages of up to 10% higher than states that do not.  I have been working closely with Registrars of Voters across Connecticut to make sure everyone is ready to accommodate those voters who for whatever reason have not yet registered prior to Election Day.  We want to give every eligible voter in Connecticut a real chance to make their voice heard on the crucial budget, educational, environmental and economic issues facing many towns in Connecticut this fall.”

The law enacting Election Day Registration permits anyone to register and vote in person on Election Day if he or she meets the eligibility requirements for voting in this state and is either:  (1) not already a registered voter or (2) is registered in one municipality but wants to change his or her registration because he or she currently resides in another municipality.  By law, a person is eligible to register and vote if he or she is (1) a U. S. citizen, (2) age 18 or older, and (3) a bona fide resident of the municipality in which he or she applies to register to vote.  Those wishing to register and vote on Election Day must appear in person at the designated location at town or city hall and declare under oath that they have not previously voted in the election. They must complete the application for voter registration and provide documents to prove their identity and residence.

Once the new voter is properly registered, the Registrars of voters must provide a special Election Day Registration (EDR) ballot and envelope to the voter and record its issuance to that particular voter.  The voter must (1) declare under oath that he or she did not previously vote in the election and (2) sign an affirmation that is printed on the back of the security envelope.  The new voter must secretly mark the ballot in the presence of the registrars or their designees, place it in the EDR envelope, and deposit the envelope in a secured EDR ballot box.

Polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday November 5, 2013 for municipal elections in the vast majority of Connecticut cities and towns.  Secretary Merrill encourages voters to go online at www.sots.ct.gov to find out more information about Election Day Registration.

See The Advocate’s Voter’s Guide 2013

Categories: Mayoral race

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