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Groton registrars of voters issue public service announcement

Groton — The Groton registrars of voters are reminding people, who are registering to vote online and do not have a current Connecticut driver’s license or DMV-issued identification, that they need to print, sign and return their applications to the registrars’ office to complete the process.

Republican Registrar Kristen Venditti said Groton registrars are mailing about 484 letters to follow up with people who do not have a state driver's license or DMV-issued ID and entered their information into the online system, but the registrars have not yet received their signed application.

Venditti believes that after submitting their information in the system, some people may not notice the instructions on the bottom of the screen to print, sign and return their application to the registrars.

People who did not realize they needed to take this step can fill out a paper voter registration, or re-enter their information in the online system, print and sign the application, and deliver it in person or mail it to the Registrars of Voters Office, 2 Fort Hill Road, Groton by Oct. 27, she said. If no one is at the office, they may put the completed signed form under the door. Paper forms are available outside of the registrars’ office. The office is open 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, or by appointment.

Gabe Rosenberg, spokesman for the Secretary of the State’s Office, said Connecticut requires a signature for voter registration so the state offers fully online voter registration to people with a valid state driver's license or DMV-issued ID, because the DMV keeps signatures on file.

People who are eligible to vote but do not have a driver’s license or DMV-issued ID also can fill out their information through the online system, but then need to print, sign and send or drop off their registration to the registrars’ office to complete the process, he explained.

Rosenberg said registrars are automatically notified of people who submitted their information in the online process, but need to return the signed registration, so they can follow up if necessary. He pointed out that many signed registrations may be in transit, though it also is possible that someone changed their mind, moved, or in fact didn't realize they needed to take the step.

If people did not remember the last step, they can fill out a paper registration, or go through the online process again and print and sign the registration, and then mail or deliver the registration to the registrars, or use a town drop box, by Oct. 27. They can also fill out a registration in person at the registrars' office by the deadline. Should there be any issue, Connecticut also has Election Day registration, he pointed out.

Norwich Republican Registrar Dianne Slopak said the city registrars’ office has more than 300 people on the list of those needing to confirm their identity and do not have a driver’s license or official state ID. Slopak, chairwoman of the New London County Registrars’ Association, said the state registrars’ association was abuzz with discussions about the issue.

Slopak said if the person is registering online, the person needs to print out the form and mail it or bring it to the registrars’ office. Tuesday, Oct. 27 is the final day for new voters to register before the Nov. 3 election, except for those who turn 18 or move after that date.

Rosenberg said the state is using the same system as in prior elections and there is not a glitch, but registrars are likely noticing a higher volume of people registering to vote this year.

The state has a website for people to check their voter registration status: https://portaldir.ct.gov/sots/LookUp.aspx.

Day Staff Writer Claire Bessette contributed to this report.

k.drelich@theday.com

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