September 22, 2020

It’s National Voter Registration Day! All You Need to Know to Register, Apply for an Absentee Ballot and VOTE!

LYME/OLD LYME — Today, Tuesday, Sept. 22, marks the 9th annual National Voter Registration Day – a nonpartisan and collaborative effort that involves partners of all stripes and sizes across the country to register voters ahead of the November election.

One in four eligible Americans is not registered to vote, and National Voter Registration Day seeks to make voter registration calls to action impossible to ignore, so that as many citizens as possible are empowered to participate in our democracy.

There are two simple ways to register to vote:

  • You can register online here.  To register online, you must have a current, valid driver’s license, learner’s permit or non-driver photo ID card issued by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and a signature on file with DMV.
  • If you are a Lyme resident, you can register in person any weekday during normal business hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at the Lyme Town Hall at 480 Hamburg Road.
  • If you are an Old Lyme resident, you can register to vote Monday through Friday (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) in the Registrar’s Office or in the Town Clerk’s office if the Registrars are not available.

If you are not sure if you are registered, you can check your current voting status by visiting the link here and entering your name, town of residence and date of birth.

Latest Information on Absentee Ballots for Nov. 3 Election From our Towns

Town of Lyme

The Secretary of the State’s office has mailed absentee ballot applications to every registered voter in Connecticut for the November 3, 2020, General Election.  Registered voters in Lyme began receiving their absentee ballot applications in the mail on Thursday, September 17.  If you wish to use the absentee ballot application you received in the mail, follow the directions on the insert included with the application, which are also listed here:

  1. Check that your personal information is correct in Section 1.
  2. Select a reason for voting by absentee ballot in Section 2. All voters may choose “COVID-19.”
  3. Sign your application in Section 3.
  4. Seal it in the envelope and drop it in the secure Official Ballot Drop Box at Lyme Town Hall on the sidewalk (preferred) or mail it in the postage-paid envelope included.

Things to remember:

  • If you have already submitted an absentee ballot application to the Lyme Town Clerk for the General Election on November 3, please destroy the application you receive from the State.
  • If you submitted an absentee ballot application for the Primary in August, that application was only for the Primary. If you wish to vote by absentee in the General Election in November, you must submit an absentee ballot application for the General Election.
  • Be sure to sign your application in Section 3, not Section 4. If someone assisted you in completing the application, that person would sign in Section 4.  You will not receive a ballot if you do not sign the application in Section 3.
  • Deposit your application in the Town of Lyme Official Drop Box only, not in the drop box of any other town. Residents should only deposit their applications in the drop box for the town where they are registered voters.
  • Absentee ballots will be sent out starting October 2.

Should you have any questions, contact the Town Clerk by phone at 860-434-7733, Mondays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Town of Old Lyme

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, all voters will be permitted to vote by absentee ballot rather than appear in person in the Nov. 3, 2020 Election.

For those who wish to appear in person, the polling place located at the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, 53 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day to cast your ballot.

The Secretary of the State’s (SOTS) office will be mailing Applications for Absentee Ballot to all registered voters beginning mid-September.  The completed Applications can then be sent to the Town Clerk’s office and absentee ballots will be issued by the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office.

You may also drop your completed Application in our Official Ballot Drop Box located in the front of the Town Hall.

The Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office will begin mailing out Absentee Ballots on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020.

As great numbers of voters wishing to vote absentee are anticipated, the following is recommended:

  • Do not use the Application for Absentee Ballot which was mailed to you for the Aug. 11, 2020 Primaries as it will be rejected. You will receive a new one specifically for the Nov. 3, 2020 election.
  • Applications for Absentee Ballots will be mailed to you from the SOTS beginning mid-September.
  • If you do not receive your Application for Absentee Ballot for the Nov. 3, 2020 election in the mail by Sept. 30,  contact the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office or you may visit the link here to obtain one.
  • If you have previously filed an Application for Absentee Ballot for the Nov. 3, 2020 election with the Town Clerk’s office, disregard the one received from the SOTS.  Your initial Application will be processed.
  • Completed Applications for Absentee Ballot can be mailed to the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office or dropped in the Official Ballot Drop Box located in front of the Old Lyme Town Hall.
  • Absentee Ballots will be mailed by the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office beginning Oct. 2, 2020.
  • Once you have received your Absentee Ballot and cast your vote, you may mail it to the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office or drop it into the Official Ballot Drop Box located in front of the Old Lyme Town Hall.  As time is of the essence, do not wait to deliver it to us as the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office will need time to process it.

Should you have any additional questions concerning the upcoming election, contact the Town Clerk’s office at (860) 434-1605 Ext. 220 (Vicki) or Ext. 221 (Courtney).

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Diebolt to Discuss His 200+ Unit Housing Proposal for Old Lyme – Includes Affordable Housing – at AH Committee This Evening

The boundary marked on this map indicates the perimeter of the land owned by Mark Diebolt, which is the site an approximately 220-unit housing development being proposed by Diebolt.

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Affordable Housing Committee convenes this evening at 5:30 p.m. for its regular monthly  meeting to be held via tele/video conference.

One of the agenda items is: “Development project overview: Mark Diebolt, guest (discussion only, not for action.)”

Diebolt has indicated that he is planning to submit a proposal for the development of around 220 apartments on a substantial piece of land off Hatchetts Hill Rd. towards the eastern perimeter of the Town of Old Lyme. A percentage of the housing will be designated as affordable housing.

The wording of the agenda item indicates he plans to discuss his proposal with the committee and that no action is planned by the committee.

To join this meeting, visit this link: https://oldlymect.webex.com/oldlymect/j.php?MTID=m57b4a3bee1b098d1156b5a or dial 1-408-418-9388 and enter access code: 173 360 8182. The meeting will also be recorded.

For more on this story, read our earlier article published Sept. 4, Old Lyme Land Use Official Confirms Diebolt Has Discussed 200+ Apartment Proposal Off Hatchetts Hill

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Old Lyme Selectmen Discuss Resolution on Racism Presented by Nosal; Griswold, Kerr Express Reservations

Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal (File photo)

OLD LYME — At the Sept. 8 Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s regular meeting, Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal again raised the question of whether the board would be willing to sign a Resolution on racism, which she noted several other towns in Connecticut have already done.

She had originally introduced the idea with a draft Resolution at the Aug. 8 meeting but it was not discussed further in the Aug. 17 meeting.

Nosal summarized the draft Resolution, which is printed in full below and originated from the Town of Windsor, Conn., noting, “There’s a lot of community support to do something,” and reminding her fellow board members that, “Our nation is talking about this.”

She also emphasized that the discussion was “only a first step,” and that some comments on the wording of the Resolution had already been received.

Nosal also mentioned that when she had first introduced the Resolution, Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold had expressed a concern about the tone of the document. Selectman Christopher Kerr echoed that opinion when he gave his comments on the Resolution, saying, “I somewhat agree with Tim … it seems like your saying the town is racist.”

Nosal responded immediately, “Where do you see that?” Kerr answered, “It has that tone,” adding, “Maybe there are ways to tone it down.”  Nosal asked Kerr what he would suggest to which he responded, “I don’t know,” saying he would have to read the Resolution again along with a new draft from a different source that Nosal had brought, and see if he could perhaps amend them together.

When his turn came to comment, Griswold said, “It seems to me we’re a small town. I think we have a very good record in our town,” adding he had “trouble” with use of the expression, “Racism is a public health crisis affecting our town and all of Connecticut.”

He stated, “I just don’t see the link like that unless it’s very indirect,” summarizing his opinion as, “I just hesitate to have the board sign onto this … it’s very negative about our country.”

Expanding on his view, Griswold continued with the question, “Can we all do better?” to which he responded firmly, “Yes,” noting, “We all want to endorse the idea of harmony,” while acknowledging, “There are instances where there are terrible situations.”

He concluded, “It seems this is more than we need to do … It’s hard for me to accept this.”

Nosal took a conciliatory tone after Griswold and Kerr had commented, saying, “I think it’s unusual for a board of selectmen in Old Lyme to deal with this. I’m proud of us that we’re facing the fact that it makes us uncomfortable. It’s not an easy subject for any of us to talk about.”

She remarked, “Once we start talking about it and addressing it, it will become better … our society will be better.” She urged the board to keep discussing the subject because, “Our objective is to look at what we can do to make our community healthier.”

Next steps were not agreed specifically but seemed likely to include further review of the wording of the Resolution.

Nosal concluded positively, “I appreciate the board looking at it and considering it … and acknowledge it makes us uncomfortable.”

The following is the DRAFT Resolution that Nosal presented for discussion:

WHEREAS, racism is a social system with multiple dimensions: individual racism that is interpersonal and/or internalized or systemic racism that is institutional or structural, and is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks;

WHEREAS race is a social construct with no biological basis; 

WHEREAS racism unfairly disadvantages specific individuals and communities, while unfairly giving advantages to other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources; 

WHEREAS racism is a root cause of poverty and constricts economic mobility; 

WHEREAS racism causes persistent discrimination and disparate outcomes in many areas of life, including housing, education, employment, and criminal justice, and is itself a social determinant of health; 

WHEREAS racism and segregation have exacerbated a health divide resulting in people of color in Connecticut bearing a disproportionate burden of illness and mortality including COVID-19 infection and death, heart disease, diabetes, and infant mortality; 

WHEREAS Black, Native American, Asian and Latino residents are more likely to experience poor health outcomes as a consequence of inequities in economic stability, education, physical environment, food, and access to health care and these inequities are, themselves, a result of racism; 

WHEREAS more than 100 studies have linked racism to worse health outcomes; and 

WHEREAS the collective prosperity and wellbeing of TOWN depends upon equitable access to opportunity for every resident regardless of the color of their skin: 

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, that the TOWN Board of Selectmen

(1) Assert that racism is a public health crisis affecting our town and all of Connecticut; 

(2) Work to progress as an equity and justice-oriented organization, by continuing to identify specific activities to enhance diversity and to ensure antiracism principles across our leadership, staffing and contracting;

(3) Promote equity through all policies approved by the Board of Selectmen and enhance educational efforts aimed at understanding, addressing and dismantling racism and how it affects the delivery of human and social services, economic development and public safety;

(4) Improve the quality of the data our town collects and the analysis of that data—it is not enough to assume that an initiative is producing its intended outcome, qualitative and quantitative data should be used to assess inequities in impact and continuously improve;

(5) Continue to advocate locally for relevant policies that improve health in communities of color, and support local, state, regional, and federal initiatives that advance efforts to dismantle systemic racism;

(6) Further work to solidify alliances and partnerships with other organizations that are confronting racism and encourage other local, state, regional, and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis;

(7) Support community efforts to amplify issues of racism and engage actively and authentically with communities of color wherever they live; and

(8) Identify clear goals and objectives, including periodic reports to the Board of Selectmen, to assess progress and capitalize on opportunities to further advance racial equity.

 

 

 

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Old Lyme Zoning Delays Decision on LOL Schools’ Proposed Artificial Athletic Field Pending Drainage Review, ‘It’s All About Drainage’ (Cable)

This image, courtesy of Milone & MacBroom, shows the current field behind Lyme-Old Lyme High School (left) and the proposed synthetic turf field (right.)

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Zoning Commission listened patiently in their meeting held Monday evening via Zoom to a presentation by representatives from Milone & Macbroom on the proposed synthetic turf multi-purpose field, which Lyme-Old Lyme Schools plan to build to the rear of Lyme-Old Lyme High School. The first part of the meeting constituted a Public Hearing for the project.

The new field, priced at approximately $2.5 million, will be built on top of the existing geothermal system and the presenters agreed the selected contractor would have to perform, “Pre-construction tests to make sure the the geothermal system isn’t compromised.”

They also detailed how, “The premise is that water is going completely through the carpet [the synthetic turf]” and then drained away through a vast system of pipes.

Asked whether there was any danger of pollution from the drained water, the presenter replied, “Because of the way we design the system, the water running off is clearer than the rain going in,” adding, “There’s chemicals in there, but the materials do not ever leach out. We don’t see any environmental impacts.”

He noted that the use of recycled tires for the production of synthetic turf also, “Saves tires going into landfills.”

Asked by commission member Jane Marsh how long the artificial field could be expected to last, the presenter responded, “Eight years is the expected life … I’ve seen up to 14 years. He concluded, “The fields should easily last 12 years.”

When the time comes to replace the field, the presenter explained, “All the infrastructure below the turf [the geothermal system] will remain. Just the turf will be replaced.”

There were no questions or comments from the public and so the commission voted unanimously to close the Public Hearing.

The commission then went on to discuss the project as an item of business in their regular monthly meeting and that was when things took an unexpected turn. Long-term commission member Jane Cable stated, “I don’t feel competent to evaluate the drainage. This should automatically have gone to Tom [Metcalf – the Town Engineer.]”

Commission member Maria Martinez agreed with Cable saying, “We should do due diligence and double-check.”

Cable said pragmatically, “It’s all about drainage.”

Marsh added, “My breath is being taken away by the cost of this thing,” but Martinez reminded her that the commission’s job is not to consider the cost of the project but rather, “We have to approve [its] safety.”

Members of the commission concurred that the Old Lyme Inland Wetlands Commission had already approved the project but with a condition relating to the permeability of the walkway. They requested that Land Use Coordinator Dan Bourret should send the plans to Metcalf for his review, to which Bourret agreed.

Cable then proposed a motion, “… that we put our decision off to next month to get the review from Tom.” The motion to continue the discussion to next month’s meeting was unanimous.

Editor’s Note: Visit this link for more information about the proposed synthetic turf field, 

 

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So Much on Offer at Lymes’ Senior Center — Even When It’s Closed!

Lymes’ Senior Center Board Chair Jeri Baker (right) and Carole Diffley (left), the Center’s Kitchen Manager, take some well-deserved time out while helping at the Drive-Thru Pick-Up Parade held at the Center last month.

LYME/OLD LYME — September is National Senior Center Appreciation Month and Jeri Baker, who serves as chair of the Lymes’ Senior Center Board of Directors, would like the communities of Lyme and Old Lyme to celebrate the fact that they have a thriving, buoyant Senior Center in their midst.

She is quick to point out, however, that this is in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created major challenges for the Center since March of this year in terms of both its danger to the health of seniors and the fact the Center has been forced to close because of it.

Lymes Senior Center Director Stephanie Gould

Baker comments, “It is hard to believe that there could be much to celebrate during this pandemic; but under the tireless efforts of Director Stephanie Gould, the Lymes’ Senior Center is still a huge part of the lives of seniors in our communities.” 

She explains, “It is now a model virtual world of opportunities and vital information.  Stephanie, our volunteers and staff maintain constant contact with our members online and in person through calls and mailings.” 

Asked to expand on the ways in which the Center has kept engaged with the Lyme-Old Lyme senior community during its closure, Baker notes that the center currently offers 15-23 exercise classes weekly, and these are also open to the greater communities regardless of membership.  Over 200 residents participate at this point.

She also notes that with a monthly calendar collaboration with other centers throughout the state, 75 additional free programs are also offered through Zoom. These offers include lectures, entertainment, virtual games, discussions, and other group activities in an effort to keep or seniors connected and entertained.  

Baker is effusive in her praise for how Gould has responded to the pandemic, saying, “At the very beginning of the pandemic and once the center physically closed, Stephanie sprang into action to conduct outreach to our members, especially those most vulnerable and who may not have online access.”

Baker adds, “Right now, volunteers, staff and the director personally keep in touch with weekly calls to 200 seniors through this effort and 70 more through direct mailing,” and in fact, online communications, personal contacts and the Center’s newsletter reach all members every month at minimum.

Another event that sparked a really positive response happened in August. Baker explains, “Last month we held a Drive-Thru Pick-Up Parade, at which seniors, who were required to followed all safety precautions, drove around the building to greet us as we dropped several useful and entertaining items into a bag for them. Some members even dressed up and decorated their cars.” 

Baker says enthusiastically, “This was the first in-person event held since the pandemic started, and it was such a pleasure to see so many friendly faces!”

The exterior of the Lymes’ Senior Center on Town Woods Rd. in Old Lyme.

There are numerous other ways that the Center is helping its members and these include volunteers, who deliver books and puzzles to members. Another is a table outside the Senior Center building, which has free books, puzzles, magazines, word circle and crossword puzzle packets for seniors to pick up and borrow.

And a third is that, in conjunction with the Estuary Council of Seniors, Lymes’ Senior Center continues to serve over 50 residents weekly through their Meals on Wheels and “Grab and Go” food curbside program. 

Baker concludes positively, “Since there is no projected reopening for the Center at this time, we will maintain our efforts and expand them as well to reach all members and to inform the greater community about our work.” 

Editor’s Note: For more information about the Center and all the opportunities it offers, contact Lymes’ Senior Center Director Stephanie Gould at 860 434-1605 ext. 240 or seniorcenter@oldlyme-ct.gov. Reach Jeri Baker, Chair of the Lymes’ Senior Center Board of Directors, at 860 434-0781 or Jbaker262@comcast.net.

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Bat Tests Positive for Rabies in Lyme

Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash.

LYME — Ledge Light Health Department (LLHD) has reported that a bat from the area of Hamburg Rd. in Lyme was tested and found to be positive for rabies on Sept. 4.

The health department urges the public to refrain from feeding or approaching any wild or stray animals.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that can infect all warm-blooded animals, including people.  It is spread mostly by wild animals, but stray cats and dogs may also become infected and spread the virus.

The rabies virus lives in the saliva and brain tissue of infected animals.  Rabies can be spread by scratches from infected animals or when infected saliva comes into contact with open wounds, breaks in the skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth, etc.)

If you have any questions or concerns, contact LLHD at 860-448-4882 or Lyme Town Hall at 860-434-7733.

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New COVID-19 Case Confirmed in Old Lyme, Total Now 24 Including Two Fatalities

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

OLD LYME/LYME — A new COVID-19 case has been identified in Old Lyme where the number of confirmed cases now rises to 24 including two fatalities. Ten of the surviving cases are male and the remaining 12 are female. The two fatalities were a 61-year-old female and an 83-year-old male.

To demonstrate the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine.com has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced and also includes both fatalities.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
May 113
May 1515
May 2616
June 817
June 1018
June 1419
June 2221
June 2422
July 1722
July 2823
Sept. 224
Sept. 426
Sept. 1527

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed surviving cases to date are now as follows:

  1. Female, age 64
  2. Female, age 21
  3. Male, age 27
  4. Female, age 53
  5. Female, age 61
  6. Female, age 29
  7. Male, age 40
  8. Male, age 53
  9. Female, age 60
  10. Male, age 45
  11. Female, age 20
  12. Female, age 43
  13. Female, age 48
  14. Male, age 70
  15. Male, age 67
  16. Female, age 68
  17. Male, age 50
  18. Male, age 21
  19. Female, age 48
  20. Female, age 34
  21. Male, age 20
  22. Male, age 28

Griswold has previously noted that the 21-year-old female with a confirmed case (#2 in the list immediately above) was tested in Florida, but used an Old Lyme address although she does not live here. Because she gave the Old Lyme address, Griswold said that LLHD must report her as an Old Lyme resident.

There have been no new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Lyme since our last report when the cumulative total in that town was seven.

The latest case, which was reported Aug. 24, is a male, aged 68. The seven cases comprise two females and five males ranging in age from one- to 68-years-old.

Gender and age details of the confirmed cases in Lyme to date are:

  1. Male, age 34
  2. Female, age 61
  3. Female, age 34
  4. Male, age 1
  5. Male, age 34
  6. Male, age 20
  7. Male, aged 68

Residents and businesses are urged to access up-to-date information regarding the pandemic from reputable sources including the Ledge Light Health District website (www.llhd.org), Facebook (@LedgeLightHD), Twitter (@LedgeLightHD), and Instagram (@LedgeLightHD).

Editor’s Note: Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) serves as the local health department in southeast Connecticut for the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme as well as East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London, North Stonington,  Stonington and Waterford. As a health district, formed under Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-241, LLHD is a special unit of government, allowing member municipalities to provide comprehensive public health services to residents in a more efficient manner by consolidating the services within one organization.

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Now Five Weeks Behind Schedule, Griswold Gives Update on Mile Creek Bridge Replacement Project

The first stage of the Mile Creek Bridge installation. Photos by T. Griswold.

OLD LYME — The Mile Creek Bridge replacement project finally moved forward again this past Monday when the bridge decking over the Black Hall River was installed. A large crane lowered each section into place and Machnik Bros. Construction is now in the process of completing the final installation.

The second stage of the Mile Creek Bridge installation.

Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold told LymeLine.com that at this point, the project is about five weeks behind schedule, noting, “The fabricator in Massachusetts had told Tom Machnik there were a variety of problems, including COVID.”

Griswold commented, “That is behind us now, but frustrating nonetheless.”

The third and final stage of the Mile Creek Bridge installation.

Due to the delay, Griswold said the project is now scheduled to, “Wind up in the first half of October.”

Stressing that,  “The delay is not in any way related to the Machnik Brothers’ performance,” Griswold added, “The board of selectmen thank the affected residents, who must detour the bridge, for their understanding and patience.”

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Old Lyme Land Use Official Confirms Diebolt Has Discussed 200+ Apartment Proposal Off Hatchetts Hill

OLD LYME — Old Lyme Land Use Coordinator Dan Bourret confirmed to LymeLine.com by phone Thursday that he has had a, “Very preliminary discussion,” with Mark C. Diebolt about the proposal Diebolt is planning to submit for a development of apartments on a substantial piece of land off Hatchetts Hill Rd. towards the eastern perimeter of the Town of Old Lyme.

Asked how many units were being proposed, Bourret said he believed it was, “A low 200’s number of apartments.”

Bourret stressed, “I don’t know much. I only have a little bit of an overview. There are no plans submitted at this point.” He emphasized he would know much more about the project, ” … when we get an application.”

Responding to a question regarding whether Zoning would be the first Commission to receive the application if it is ultimately submitted, Bourret explained it would have to be reviewed by the Old Lyme Wetlands Commission initially if the proposed development were within 100 ft. of an Upland Review Area. Without an application, Bourret said he did not know at this point whether that would be the case, though he was aware, “There is a stream to the west of the property.”

Bourret noted that Diebolt had indicated the proposal would be submitted under Connecticut’s 830-g Affordable Housing Statute, which can, “circumvent the zoning process” and therefore how the application would move forward is “a little bit of an unknown.”

Stating that Diebolt is the contact for the proposal, Bourret said he did not know the names of any other investors in the project. Asked when he anticipated receiving the application, Bourret replied that he had, “No indication of when plans are coming.”

The next meeting of the Old Lyme Affordable Housing Committee is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 21, at 5:30 p.m. in Old Lyme Town Hall.  The agenda for that meeting has not yet been published, but a member of the committee has confirmed to LymeLine.com that Diebolt plans to discuss his proposal at that meeting.

Editor’s Note: Mark C. Diebolt is the President/CEO of Diebolt & Company, manufacturers and designers of Specialty Hose Products since 1991. The Connecticut Corporate Headquarters are located at 18 Riverview Drive, Old Lyme, CT 06371. For more information, visit this link.

 

 

 

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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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Old Lyme Town Clerk’s Office Clarifies Absentee Ballot Procedures for November Election

The statement explains, “For the Aug. 11, 2020 Primaries, the Secretary of the State’s (SOTS) office contracted with a Mail House to send out the absentee ballots rather than have the Town Clerk’s office handle it in-house as it is usually done.”  This decision had been taken, “… based on an effort to take some of the workload off the Town Clerks due to the sheer volume expected with voters being given the option to vote via absentee.”

Noting, “There were issues with the Mail House in performing this function,” the SOTS has determined use of the Mail House will be discontinued.

The statement continues, “On Aug. 18, 2020, the Town Clerks of Connecticut were notified by the SOTS that rather than use a Mail House again for the Nov. 3, 2020 election, they would be returning the task of sending out absentee ballots to the Town Clerks.”

Adding, “We were also notified that the SOTS’s Office will be mailing Applications for Absentee Ballot to all registered voters beginning mid-September.  The completed Applications will then be sent to the Town Clerk’s office and absentee ballots would be issued by us,”  the Town Clerk stresses that residents should note, “… we will begin mailing out Absentee Ballots on Friday, Oct. 2.”

As a large numbers of voters wishing to vote absentee is anticipated, the Town Clerk recommends the following:

  • Do not use the Application for Absentee Ballot which was mailed to you for the Aug. 11 Primaries as it will be rejected. You will receive a new one specifically for the Nov. 3 election.
  • Applications for Absentee Ballots will be mailed to you from the SOTS beginning mid-September.
  • If you do not receive your Application for Absentee Ballot for the Nov. 3 election in the mail by Sept. 30, contact the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office or you visit this link to obtain one.
  • If you have previously filed an Application for Absentee Ballot for the Nov. 3 election with the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office, disregard the one received from the SOTS.  Your initial Application will be processed.
  • Completed Applications for Absentee Ballot can be mailed to us or dropped in the Old Lyme Official Ballot Drop Box located in front of the Town Hall.
  • The Old Lyme Town Clerk’s Office will begin mailing Absentee Ballots Oct. 2.
  • Once you have received your Absentee Ballot and cast your vote, you may mail it to the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s Office or drop it into the Official Ballot Drop Box located in front of the Town Hall.

If you have any questions concerning the upcoming election, contact Town Clerk Vicki Urbowicz at (860) 434-1605 Ext. 221 or her assistant, Courtney, Ext. 220.

Editor’s Note: We urge all residents of Old Lyme and Lyme to mail or deliver their votes as early possible to allow time for the Town Clerk’s Office to process them.

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Recounts for 2nd Congressional District Republican Primary Held in Lyme, Old Lyme Yesterday; No Change in OL, Gilmer Loses Two Votes in Lyme

LYME/OLD LYME — Yesterday (Monday) morning, the Town Clerks of both Lyme and Old Lyme held recounts of the Republican 2nd Congressional District Primary votes this morning.

The recount was ordered by Theodore Bromley, the state’s director of elections, because the original vote counts of 9,225 for Gilmer and 9,199 for Justin Anderson showed a difference of less than 0.5 percent of all the votes cast.

The recounts were required to be completed on or before today, Tuesday Aug. 18.

The recount results were as follows with the original number shown in parentheses:

LYME

Thomas Gilmer: 59  (61)
Justin Anderson: 64  (64)

OLD LYME

Thomas Gilmer: 190  (190)
Justin Anderson: 152  (152)

8/17 from The Day: An ongoing recount in the race shows Gilmer winning by 14 votes, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of the State’s Office on Monday …

An attorney representing Republican congressional candidate Tom Gilmer sent a cease and desist order to his opponent Justin Anderson in May, seeking to stop Anderson from making “defamatory” statements about Gilmer and from disseminating a video that shows Gilmer in a violent altercation with a former girlfriend in 2017 …

Visit this link to access the full article about Gilmer’s arrest by Julia Bergman and published Aug. 17 on TheDay.com

8/11 from The Day: Thomas Gilmer, the endorsed Republican candidate on Tuesday’s primary ballot for the 2nd Congressional District, said he has dropped out of the race after police in Wethersfield arrested him on a warrant late Monday night.

Police charged Gilmer with second-degree strangulation and first-degree unlawful restraint. He was arraigned Tuesday in New Britain Superior Court.

Visit this link to access the full article about Gilmer’s arrest by Julia Bergman and published Aug. 11 on TheDay.com

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Biden, Trump Win in Old Lyme Primary; Gilmer (Arrested Monday, Now Withdrawn) Defeats Anderson in Congressional 2nd District Race

OLD LYME — This morning Old Lyme Town Clerk Vicki Urbowicz sent us the preliminary, unconfirmed results of Tuesday’s Primary. The numbers were as follows:

Republican Presidential Preference Primary

Donald Trump: 297

Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente: 41

Uncommitted: 83

Democratic Presidential Preference Primary

Joe Biden: 740

Bernie Sanders: 76

Tulsi Gabbard: 3

Uncommitted: 14

Republican Representative in Congress, Congressional District 2

Thomas Gilmer 189

Justin Anderson 152

Thomas Gilmer, a Republican candidate who was on Tuesday’s primary ballot for the 2nd Congressional District, said he has dropped out of the race after police in Wethersfield arrested him on a warrant late Monday night.

Police charged Gilmer with second-degree strangulation and first-degree unlawful restraint. He was arraigned Tuesday in New Britain Superior Court.

Visit this link to access the full article about Gilmer’s arrest by Julia Bergman and published Aug. 11 on TheDay.com

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Trump, Biden Win in Tuesday’s Lyme Primaries, Anderson Defeats (Now Withdrawn) Gilmer by Three Votes in Congressional 2nd District Contest

LYME — Lyme Town Clerk Linda Winzer sent us the final, confirmed results of Tuesday’s Primary Thursday evening. The numbers were as follows:

Republican Presidential Preference Primary

Donald Trump: 102

Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente: 14

Uncommitted: 29

Democratic Presidential Preference Primary

Joe Biden: 306

Bernie Sanders: 47

Tulsi Gabbard: 2

Uncommitted: 3

Republican Representative in Congress, Congressional District 2

Thomas Gilmer 61

Justin Anderson 64

Thomas Gilmer, a Republican candidate who was on Tuesday’s primary ballot for the 2nd Congressional District, said he has dropped out of the race after police in Wethersfield arrested him on a warrant late Monday night.

Police charged Gilmer with second-degree strangulation and first-degree unlawful restraint. He was arraigned Tuesday in New Britain Superior Court.

Visit this link to access the full article about Gilmer’s arrest by Julia Bergman and published Aug. 11 on TheDay.com

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It’s Primary Day! In-Person Voting Open 6am-8pm, Absentee Ballots Deposited by 8pm Also Accepted

LYME/OLD LYME — The polls are open today, Tuesday, Aug. 11, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lyme Town Hall for Lyme residents to vote in person and Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School for Old Lyme residents to vote in person.

If you are voting by Absentee Ballot and have not already mailed your ballot or deposited it in the secure drop box in front of the appropriate town hall, you still have time to place your ballot into both the inner and outer envelopes and then deposit it into the appropriate drop box.

Once deposited in the secure drop box, your ballot is considered received by your municipality.

Your ballot must deposited in the secure drop box no later than 8 p.m. this evening, Tuesday, Aug. 11.

Registered Democrats can view their sample ballot at this link. They are only voting in the Democratic Presidential Preference Primary and their choices on the ballot are:

  • Joe Biden
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Uncommitted

Registered Republicans can view their sample ballot at this link. They are voting in the Republican Presidential Preference Primary AND the Republican 2nd Congressional District Primary. Their choices on the ballot are:

Presidential Preference Primary:

  • Donald J. Trump
  • Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente
  • Uncommitted

Republican 2nd Congressional District Primary:

  • Thomas Gilmer
  • Justin Anderson

Lyme Town Hall is closed to all other public business today to reduce the number of people in the building and potential virus exposure.

Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School gymnasium is at 53 Lyme St., Old Lyme. This new voting location for all Old Lyme residents will also be used in the November election.

At both locations, masks will be required and social distancing will be observed.

For more information on the election tomorrow, visit our related post: CT’s Primary is Tuesday; Have You Completed, Sent In Your Absentee Ballot? Do You Know Where, When to Vote in Person?

 

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CT’s Primary is Tuesday; Have You Completed, Sent In Your Absentee Ballot? Do You Know Where, When to Vote in Person?

LYME/OLD LYME — Connecticut’s Primary takes place next Tuesday. Hopefully everyone who requested an Absentee Ballot has now received it

For many Lyme and Old Lyme residents, this may be the first time voting by absentee ballot.  Based on the information that Town Clerks received from the state, there will be three pieces inside the absentee-ballot packet:

  • the ballot;
  • an inner envelope (which you must sign and date); and
  • a blank outer envelope (for returning the above materials).

Town Clerks have been informed by the State that the instructions included in the absentee-ballot packet may incorrectly refer to a serially numbered envelope.  This is, in essence, a typo – as neither the inner nor outer envelope has a serial number.

Instructions for Completing Your Absentee Ballot

Based on the information received by the Town Clerks, these are the correct instructions to follow:

  • After filling out your ballot, insert the ballot in the inner envelope.
  • Sign and date the inner envelope. The most important thing to remember to do is to sign and date the inner envelope where indicated. Failure to do so will result in the ballot being rejected.
  • After signing and dating the inner envelope, insert it inside the larger outer envelope (the blank envelope).
  • Your ballot is now ready to be returned.

Instructions for Returning Your Absentee Ballot

To return your absentee ballot:

The official Ballot Box outside Lyme Town Hall. Photo courtesy of the Town of Lyme website.

FOR LYME RESIDENTS

  • You may walk into Lyme Town Hall and hand it to the Town Clerk.
  • You may mail it using the U.S. Postal Service. Ballots returned by mail must be received by the Town Clerk by 8:00 p.m. on Aug. 11.
  • You may insert it in the Official Ballot Drop Box located on the edge of the sidewalk at Lyme Town Hall. (See photo at left.)

Do not return your ballot via the mail slot in the door of Lyme Town Hall.

Please note that the Official Ballot Drop Box is for completed ballots only.  No other material should be deposited in the drop box.  You should only deposit your ballot in the Town of Lyme drop box if you are a resident of Lyme.  Do not drop your ballot in the drop box of any other town.

Voters who have questions on absentee voting are welcome to contact the Lyme Town Clerk at 860-434-7733 during regular business hours.

The official Ballot Box outside Old Lyme Town Hall. Photo courtesy of the Old Lyme Selectman’s Office.

FOR OLD LYME RESIDENTS

To return your absentee ballot:

  • You may walk into Old Lyme Town Hall and hand it to the clerk at our front desk.
  • You may mail it using the U.S. Postal Service. Ballots returned by mail must be received by the Town Clerk by 8:00 p.m. on Aug. 11.
  • You may insert it in the Official Ballot Drop Box located in front of the Old Lyme Town Hall. (See photo at right.)

Do not return your ballot via the mail slot in the door of Old Lyme Town Hall.

Please note that the Official Ballot Drop Box is for completed ballots only.  No other material should be deposited in the drop box.  You should only deposit your ballot in the Town of Old Lyme drop box if you are a voter of Old Lyme.  Do not drop your ballot in the drop box of any other town.  Voters who have questions on absentee voting are welcome to contact the Old Lyme Town Clerk at 860-434-1605 x 220 and x 221 during regular business hours.

FOR BOTH TOWNS

If at all possible, residents are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to return a completed ballot via the Official Ballot Drop Box rather than mailing it via the U. S. Postal Service.  There are only a few days left until the primary, and this will ensure that the ballot is in Town Hall when it needs to be, in order to be counted.

In-Person Voting

FOR LYME RESIDENTS

For voters who do not plan to vote by absentee ballot and prefer to vote in person, the polls at Town Hall will be open on Tuesday, Aug. 11, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

FOR OLD LYME RESIDENTS

For voters who do not plan to vote by absentee ballot and prefer to vote in person, the polls at our new location at the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School gymnasium, 53 Lyme Street, Old Lyme will be open on Tuesday, Aug. 11, from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

FOR BOTH LOCATIONS

Masks will be required and social distancing will be observed.

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Isaias Moving Faster Than Expected, Impact Anticipated 1-8pm; All Old Lyme Public Beaches Closed Today

The projected track of Tropical Storm Isaias courtesy of The Weather Channel.

OLD LYME — Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold announced at yesterday evening’s board of selectmen’s meeting that, in light of the impending arrival of Tropical Storm Isaias, all public beaches in Old Lyme would be closed today, Tuesday, Aug. 4.

This decision was taken during a meeting Monday morning of representatives from the beaches and all the town’s emergency services. Another meeting will be held this morning to review the situation.

Griswold explained the closure, saying, “Tides are supposed to run two to three feet above normal” during the storm and, “As the waves start mounting, we don’t want to have to shoo everyone off the beach.”

Noting, “The territory on the east [of the storm] is expected to get more wind, less rain,” he added, “This is not a hurricane … We’re hoping it will be a wind event,” but still suggested “People should check their yards … and get their umbrellas down … and stay safe.”

Old Lyme Emergency Management reported at 6 a.m. this morning, “T.S. [Tropical Storm] Isaias is moving faster than expected and this has moved up the time of impact by 2 hours for our area … The most likely timing for the tropical storm force winds is now from 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM. The primary threat from Isaias will be from strong winds …”

Visit this link to read the most recent update from Old Lyme Emergency Management in full.

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Filed Under: Lyme, Old Lyme, Town Hall

Delay Announced in Mailing Absentee Ballots for Aug. 11 Primary

August 3, 2020 by Leave a Comment

The official Ballot Box outside Lyme Town Hall. Photo courtesy of the Town of Lyme website.

LYME/OLD LYME – The Town Clerks of both Lyme and Old Lyme published notices Thursday and Friday last week respectively on their town websites regarding the Aug. 11 Primary stating, “The State of Connecticut has informed us there was a delay in the mailing of the absentee ballots from the mail house in Rhode Island.”

The statement continues, “Town Clerks have been assured that the ballots were mailed beginning Monday, July 27, so you should be receiving yours soon if you sent in an application for one.”

The website pages with the statement from the Town Clerks for the Town of Lyme and the Town of Old Lyme also offer comprehensive information for voters on how to complete and submit the Absentee Ballot.

The Primaries being held are both Democratic and Republican and also include the Presidential Primaries.

Voting will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School for Old Lyme residents and Lyme Town Hall for Lyme residents.

The official Ballot Box outside Old Lyme Town Hall. Photo courtesy of the Old Lyme Selectman’s Office.

As these are primaries, individuals must be registered in either the Democratic or Republican party to be eligible to vote. The deadline has passed for an enrolled elector to transfer from one party to another to be eligible to vote in the Presidential Primary.

If you are a new voter and wish to enroll in a party to vote in the primary, mail-in applications must be postmarked, or received by the Registrar of Voters by/on Aug. 6, 2020.

If you are an unaffiliated voter and wish to enroll in a party, the mail-in application must be received (not simply postmarked) by the Registrar of Voters by/on Aug. 6, 2020.

The in-person enrollment deadline for new voters and unaffiliated voters enrolling in a party at town hall is Aug. 10, 2020 at 12 p.m.

Absentee ballots can either be mailed to the respective town hall or dropped off in the official ballot drop box. This latter method allows a contact-less and secure method to submit your ballot. Check the messages from the Town Clerks referred to above, which are on the town websites, for the latest information.

Old Lyme has relocated its polling place from the Cross Lane Firehouse to the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School gymnasium at 53 Lyme St., Old Lyme, where there is ample parking.

Lyme’s polling place remains at Lyme Town Hall.

For further information, contact the Lyme Town Clerk at 860-434-7733 or the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office at 860-434-1605 x 220 or x 221 or visit the Town of Lyme website or the Town of Old Lyme website.

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Filed Under: Lyme, News, Old Lyme, Top Story, Town Hall

Old Lyme’s Confirmed COVID Cases Reduced to 21 Plus Two Fatalities; Lyme Constant at Six

July 31, 2020 by Leave a Comment

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

LYME/OLD LYME — Today, we have received a correction from Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold in consultation with Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) to the Old Lyme data, which we were previously given. The number of cases attributed to Old Lyme has been reduced to 21, while fatalities remain at two.

We have adjusted our records accordingly and present the revised numbers below.

Meanwhile, Ledge Light Health District confirmed to LymeLine.com in an email Tuesday evening (July 28) that five new COVID-19 cases have been identified in Lyme taking the cumulative total in that town to six.

Stephen Mansfield, LLHD Director of Health, gave the following details of the confirmed cases in Lyme to date:

  1. Male, age 34
  2. Female, age 61
  3. Female, age 34
  4. Male, age 1
  5. Male, age 34
  6. Male, age 20

Mansfield confirmed that the 34-year-old male in the list above is the original case, which had been previously identified.

Earlier Thursday, July 28, Griswold notified LymeLine by text that a new case of COVID-19 had also been confirmed in Old Lyme. This latest case is a 20-year-old male.

This is the 21st confirmed COVID-19 case in Old Lyme; in addition, there are two fatalities. Nine of these surviving cases are male and the remaining 12 are female. The two fatalities were a 61-year-old female and an 83-year-old male.

Yesterday, in a press release, Governor Ned Lamont and Department of Public Health (DPH) Acting Commissioner Dr. Deidre S. Gifford expressed concern with recent COVID-19 outbreak clusters among teens and young adults in Connecticut, stating, “Statistics from Connecticut and elsewhere show that 18 to 29-year-olds represent substantial numbers of new COVID-19 infections in recent weeks.” Both Lyme and Old Lyme have recent cases of 20-year-olds testing positive for COVID-19.

To demonstrate the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine.com has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced and also includes both fatalities.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
May 113
May 1515
May 2616
June 817
June 1018
June 1419
June 2221
June 2422
July 1722
July 2823
Sept. 224
Sept. 426
Sept. 1527

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed surviving cases to date are now as follows:

  1. Female, age 64
  2. Female, age 21
  3. Male, age 27
  4. Female, age 53
  5. Female, age 61
  6. Female, age 29
  7. Male, age 40
  8. Male, age 53
  9. Female, age 60
  10. Male, age 45
  11. Female, age 20
  12. Female, age 43
  13. Female, age 48
  14. Male, age 70
  15. Male, age 67
  16. Female, age 68
  17. Male, age 50
  18. Male, age 21
  19. Female, age 48
  20. Female, age 34
  21. Male, age 20

Griswold has previously noted that the 21-year-old female with a confirmed case (#2 in the list immediately above) was tested in Florida, but used an Old Lyme address although she does not live here. Because she gave the Old Lyme address, Griswold said that Ledge Light Health District must report her as an Old Lyme resident.

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Filed Under: News, Old Lyme, Top Story, Town Hall

Old Lyme Voters Will Use New Location for Aug. 11 Primary

July 31, 2020 by Leave a Comment

The official Ballot Box outside Old Lyme Town Hall. Photo courtesy of the Old Lyme Selectman’s Office.

LYME/OLD LYME –Democratic and Republican Primaries, including Presidential Primaries, will be held Tuesday, Aug. 11.

Voting will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School for Old Lyme residents and Lyme Town Hall for Lyme residents.

Residents who applied for an Absentee Ballot for this primary should have received it earlier this week.

As these are primaries, individuals must be registered in either the Democratic or Republican party to be eligible to vote. The deadline has passed for an enrolled elector to transfer from one party to another to be eligible to vote in the Presidential Primary.

If you are a new voter and wish to enroll in a party to vote in the primary, mail-in applications must be postmarked, or received by the Registrar of Voters by/on Aug. 6, 2020.

If you are an unaffiliated voter and wish to enroll in a party, the mail-in application must be received (not simply postmarked) by the Registrar of Voters by/on Aug. 6, 2020.

The in-person enrollment deadline for new voters and unaffiliated voters enrolling in a party at town hall is Aug. 10, 2020 at 12 p.m.

Absentee ballots can either be mailed to the respective town hall or dropped off in the official ballot drop box. This latter method allows a contact-less and secure method to submit your ballot.

Old Lyme has relocated its polling place from the Cross Lane Firehouse to the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School gymnasium at 53 Lyme St., Old Lyme, where there is ample parking. Lyme’s polling place remains at Lyme Town Hall.

For further information, contact the Lyme Town Clerk at 860-434-7733 or the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office at 860-434-1605 x 220 or x 221 or visit the Town of Lyme website or the Town of Old Lyme website.

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Filed Under: News, Top Story, Town Hall