Absentee ballots for the November 8 election can start being mailed to eligible voters who have requested them on October 7. That is the first date that, by law, absentee ballots can be made available to Connecticut residents. The Lyme DTC has gathered the following information to assist residents interested in voting by absentee ballot in the November 8 election.
How To Request & Return an Absentee-Ballot Application
Lyme residents who are planning to vote by absentee ballot should fill out and return their absentee-ballot application for a ballot now so that they can receive their absentee ballot as soon as possible. (You must complete an absentee ballot application in order to receive an absentee ballot.)
- Absentee-ballot applications can be downloaded by clicking on this link: https://bit.ly/2ulgNDz. (Scroll down the page and choose either an English or Spanish “Application for Absentee Ballot.”)
- If you are requesting an absentee ballot for the November 8 election, you should check the “Election” box in Section III.
- If you are requesting an absentee ballot for the school building referendum, you should check the box for “Referendum.”
- If you want to vote by absentee ballot in both the election and the referendum, you must fill out two separate applications – one for the election, one for the referendum.
- Absentee-ballot applications can be returned by dropping them in the Official Ballot Drop Box on the sidewalk outside of Town Hall.
As far as who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot in this election, Connecticut Secretary of State Mark Kohler has said, “Access to absentee ballots was expanded this year … Voters are eligible to vote by absentee ballot if they are unable to go to their polling place on Election Day because of absence from their town for a period of time on Election Day, because of a sickness or because of a disability. This includes voters who are unable to go to their polling place because of a sickness or physical disability of another person, or because of the continued presence of a sickness, such as the COVID-19 virus.”
The Secretary of the State website elaborates on eligibility further, saying, “A voter who is a caretaker of an immunocompromised person can vote by absentee ballot if the sickness and/or physical disability of the person in their care renders the voter unable to appear at their polling place. Similarly, a voter who, in the voter’s best judgment, is unable to appear in the polling place because of the continued presence of a sickness such as the COVID-19 virus is eligible to vote by absentee ballot.”
Other eligible residents include active members of the U.S. armed forces and individuals whose religious beliefs prevent them from performing secular activities like voting on Election Day.
If you submit an application, you must check a reason for requesting an Absentee Ballot under Section IV of the application, and you must sign and date the application.
How To Fill Out an Absentee Ballot
In previous elections, the Lyme Town Clerk offered this advice for filling out an absentee ballot:
- When you receive your ballot packet, it will contain five items: the outer envelope (designated with the letter “C”), the inner envelope (designated with the letter “B”), an instruction pamphlet, a flyer regarding the ballot drop box and the ballot.
- Fill out your ballot, darkening 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, darken 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. Ballots in unsigned envelopes will not be counted.
- Insert the inner “B” envelope into the outer “C” envelope and seal it. Your ballot is now ready to be returned.
How To Return an Absentee Ballot
The easiest and most effective way for Lyme residents to return an absentee ballot is to drop it in the Official Ballot Drop Box on the sidewalk out of Lyme Town Hall – no later than 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
Voters can also return their absentee ballots by mail to the Town Clerk (Lyme Town Hall, 480 Hamburg Road, Lyme, CT 06371) – but the ballots must arrive before 8:00 p.m. on November 8 to be counted.
Voters can also return their absentee ballot to the Town Clerk in person any day prior to Election Day.