August 2, 2021

Lyme Town Clerk Explains Absentee Ballot Procedures for Nov. 3 Election

LYME — Due to COVID-19, all voters were permitted to vote by absentee ballot rather than appear at the polls for the Aug. 11 Primaries.  For the Nov. 3 election, all voters are also permitted to vote by absentee ballot rather than appear at the polls.

For the Aug. 11 Primaries, the Secretary of the State (SOTS) contracted with a mail house to send out absentee ballots.  Normally, Town Clerks have that responsibility; however, due to the sheer volume expected with all voters being given the option to vote via absentee ballot, the decision was made to have a mail house handle the job instead.

Several significant issues arose with this procedure and the SOTS opted to discontinue the contract with the mail house.

The Town Clerks of Connecticut were notified Aug. 18 by the SOTS that — rather than have another mail house handle sending absentee ballots to voters for the Nov. 3 election — the task would be returned to the local Town Clerks.

The Town Clerks were also notified by the SOTS that the SOTS would be mailing out applications to every voter in Connecticut, as was done with the Primary.

In anticipation of a great number of voters wishing to vote by absentee ballot, Lyme Town Clerk Linda Winzer offers the following recommendations to Lyme residents:

  • Rather than wait for the absentee ballot application to arrive from the SOTS, fill out an application and deliver it to the Official Ballot Drop Box on the sidewalk of Lyme Town Hall now. This will allow the Town Clerk to have ballot packets ready to go when we are permitted to begin mailing them out on Oct. 2.  Town Clerks may not begin mailing out ballots prior to this date.  Visit this link to download and print out the Absentee Ballot Application.
  • When you receive your ballot packet, it will contain four items: the outer envelope (designated with the letter “C”), the inner envelope (designated with the letter “B”), an instruction pamphlet, and the ballot.
  • Fill out your ballot, filling in only ONE oval per column. You may see the candidate you wish to vote for listed more than once, which indicates they were endorsed by more than one party.  DO NOT FILL IN ALL OVALS FOR THAT CANDIDATE, fill in one oval only.
  • Insert the ballot into the inner “B” envelope and seal it. YOU MUST SIGN AND DATE THIS ENVELOPE IN ORDER FOR YOUR VOTE TO COUNT.  This is part of statutory election law.  Winzer says she cannot stress this enough.  Ballots in unsigned envelopes will not be counted.
  • Insert the inner “B” envelope into the outer “C” envelope and seal it.
  • Deliver your completed ballot to the Official Ballot Drop Box on the sidewalk of Lyme Town Hall.
    • Do not wait until the last minute to submit an application if you wish to vote by Absentee Ballot. The sooner you submit your application, the better.
    • Do not wait until the last minute to complete your ballot and deliver it.
    • Ballots received after polls close will not be counted.
    • If you choose to mail your ballot rather than deposit it in the Official Ballot Drop Box and it is not received by the close of polls, it will not count.
    • Voters may still appear at the polls to vote in person on Tuesday, Nov. 3, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.
    • If you choose to follow the recommended process outlined above, and then you receive the ballot application sent by the SOTS, you can simply destroy the duplicate application.

If you have any questions regarding the upcoming election, you may email the Town Clerk at townclerk@townlyme.org or call the Town Clerk at 860-434-7733, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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