Letter: A voter-registration primer
Published 10:13 am, Friday, October 19, 2012
The Fairfield League of Women Voters has a saying: Democracy is not a spectator sport. Love your freedom? Vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Before you can vote you must be registered. To register in Connecticut you must be a United States citizen, a resident of a Connecticut town, and at least 17 years old, turning 18 before Election Day.
If you are a new resident of Fairfield, you must register. If you have changed your address within Fairfield, you should register the change to make sure the correct polling location has your name.
You can get the necessary registration form at the Registrars of Voters Office, Town Hall. A printable form can be found at www.fairfieldct.org/Voter/VoterRegistration-ByMail.pdf. You may register in person until Tuesday, Oct. 30, at the office. Or you may register by mail. Mailed registrations must be postmarked by Oct. 23. Regular office hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To facilitate registration, the Office will have special hours for voter registration on Saturday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will be open Tuesday, Oct. 30, until 8 p.m.
Additionally, a resident who moves into town, turns 18, or becomes a citizen in the seven days before the election, may register in person until Monday, Nov. 5, at 5 p.m. at the Registrars of Voters Office. Because the office likely will be busy preparing for Election Day, it is best to get to the office by noon. The registrars office may be reached at 203-256-3115.
Absentee voting is permitted for any of the following reasons: physical disability, absence from the town during all of the hours of voting, or religious tenets that forbid secular activity on Election Day. To get an absentee ballot, you must first apply to receive one. Applications for absentee ballots may be picked up at the town clerk's office in town hall. Also, an application form may be printed from the Secretary of the State's website (www.sots.ct.gov). A signed application must be received by the town clerk before an absentee ballot can be issued.
If you are applying for an absentee ballot for yourself, you can apply for, receive and even fill out the ballot in one visit to the clerk's office. You can do so until the day before the election.
If you are seeking an application for someone else, you must allow time for documents to be exchanged between the applicant and town clerk. A mailed ballot must be received by the clerk not later than the close of polls on Election Day. A ballot returned by the voter in person must be returned by the day before the election. The clerks office may be reached at at 203-256-3090.
Remember: A vote is a terrible thing to waste.
Fairfield League of Women Voters