Guilford’s Registrars of Voters have news to share to give residents every opportunity to vote on Election Day, Nov. 5, 2013.
The town’s polls will be open for registered voters from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. This year, due to new state law, the Registrars’ Office at Town Hall will also be accepting Election Day Registration for new voters, for the first time. The newly-registered voters will then be allowed vote on Election Day, by completing a ballot in the Registrars’ Office during that same visit.
“It’s available and it’s for citizens of Guilford who are not yet registered to vote. It will be available on Election Day from six in the morning until eight in the evening,” said Registrar Louise Graver.
The new law gives an outlet for voting to those who may go to their polling place and find out they are not, in fact, registered as local voters, added Registrar Gloria Nemczuk.
That may happen if, for example, “... they voted in the Presidential Election. That’s a federal election, but that may not mean they are registered to vote for a regular, local ballot,” explained Graver.
Of course, Graver added, it’s better to make sure your registration is in order before Election Day.
“They can always check by either calling our office or by looking at the Secretary of State’s website,” said Graver.
Another new state law this year allows Permanent Absentee Ballot status for disabled electors. Earning the status requires a one-time application made by the elector, combined with doctor’s note confirming the applicant’s disability. Applications need to be made through the Town Clerk’s Office.
For the purposes of this year’s November election, all those who successfully apply will receive an absentee ballot. In succeeding years, the Registrars’ Office will check in to ensure the voter is still residing at the address listed on the application. If so, an absentee ballot will be issued without a request needing to be made by the resident, as in the past.
“People who are disabled to the extent that they are not able to leave their house are eligible to receive permanent absentee ballot status,” said Graver,
A third offering, which has been around for a while, but is worth repeating, is curbside voting service at the town’s polls. The service allows folks who may have trouble exiting vehicles to drive up, roll down a window, and vote at the curb. To make the process work, voters are asked to call the Office of Registrars at (203) 453-8028 just before they are about to head to their polling place on Election Day.
“The important thing about curbside voting is to call our office first,” said Graver. “We will check and make sure they are registered voters, and then call the polling place and let them know a registered voter is coming up, so they can be ready and waiting at the curbside with the ballot.”
Guilford’s Office of Registrars is located in Town Hall, 31 Park St. Office hours are Mon. 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Wed. 1 p.m. - 7 p.m. (for the month of Oct.) and Thurs. 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. phone (203) 453-8028. The CT Secretary of State website is located at www.ct.gov/sots The Town Clerk’s office at Town Hall can be contacted via phone at (203) 453-8001 or visited 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday. For more information, visit www.ci.guilford.ct.us