Polls open 6:00am to 8:00 pm
If you can answer yes to all three of these questions, you can register to
vote in Connecticut:
Are you at least 17 and turning 18 on or before Election Day?
Are you a US citizen living in Connecticut and a resident in the Connecticut town in which you are registering?
If you are a convicted felon, have you completed confinement and parole?
There are two types of ID requirements in the state of Connecticut:
So, what kind of ID are we talking about? Here are a few acceptable forms of ID:
If you have any questions about what constitutes an acceptable ID, call
Stamford Registrar of Voters
Democratic Registrar (203) 977-4009
Republican Registrar (203) 977-4010
After check-in, the Ballot Clerk will provide you with a paper ballot and privacy sleeve and answer any questions you may have. You may use any available privacy booth to complete your ballot. All booths are equipped with pen and magnifying sheet. Use the pen to completely fill in the oval next to the candidate of your choice.
Place your ballot in the privacy sleeve and proceed to the tabulator (optical scanner). Remove the ballot from the privacy sleeve, cover the ballot with the sleeve, and insert the ballot into the scanner either right side up or down. The machine immediately scans the ballot, counts your vote and stores the ballot in a locked compartment.
Should you make a mistake in marking your ballot, the Optical Scanner will reject it immediately and return it to you. Errors include selecting too many candidates or circling an oval rather than filling it in; or there may simply be stray marks on the ballot. The Machine Tender will assist you by reading the error message in the optical scan display window. You will be directed to the Ballot Clerk who will provide you with another ballot. The Ballot Clerk will mark the previous ballot “spoiled” and will place the spoiled ballot in a receptacle for this purpose. You then can start over.
You may write in the name of a candidate that does not appear on the ballot. If you write in a name, it counts as part of the total tally of votes permitted for that office. If only one vote is permitted, you will not be able to vote for another candidate for that office. Depending on the position, in order to be valid, a write-in candidate must be registered with the Town Clerk or Secretary of the State prior to Election Day. If you write in a name, you must also fill in the appropriate bubble so that the Optical Scanner knows there is a write-in vote and can sort your ballot for manual counting at the end of the night.
If you are in the privacy booth and unsure about how to mark your ballot, two election officials of different political parties will be able to assist you from outside the privacy booth. If you are visually impaired or otherwise handicapped, you may choose another voter to be with you, with the permission of the Moderator, but this person cannot be your employer or a member of your union leadership. Or you may ask the Moderator to allow you to vote on the IVS handicap equipment provided at each polling location.
If a voter can drive or is driven to the polling place but is unable to leave the car, poll workers can bring a ballot and a privacy sleeve to the car.
No one is permitted to electioneer or solicit votes for a political party or candidate within 75 feet of a polling place or inside a polling place.
Absentee ballots allow some people to vote who would otherwise not be able to get to the polls on Election Day. However, Connecticut has strict laws regarding just who can vote absentee:
If any of the above questions pertain to you, you can apply to vote absentee.
Call the Town Clerk to request an Absentee Ballot Application: (203) 977-5280.
The first step is to secure an application for an Absentee Ballot from your Town Clerk’s office. You can do this by visiting your Town Clerk's office, sending someone in your absence to the Town Clerk's office, or calling the Town Clerk at (203) 977-5280. Once you have filled out the application, signed it, and delivered or mailed it, the Town Clerk will process your application and mail you an absentee ballot.
Absentee Ballots for the 2017 election will start to be mailed October 5, but there is no need to wait until then to apply. The earlier you receive one, the earlier you can return it.
If your application is received after October 5, your Absentee Ballot will be mailed to you as soon as your application is processed.
Complete the Absentee Ballot, carefully following the instructions that are included, and return the application by mail or in person. If you discover you must be out of town too close to November 6 to allow you both to receive an Absentee Ballot by mail and to return it by mail, you can go into the Town Clerk's office and apply and vote on the same day. But be aware, that the processing of your Absentee Ballot can take time. Be prepared to wait.
Only completed Absentee Ballots received before the close of polls on the day of the election will be counted. This means that if you are applying for an Absentee Ballot by mail and returning it by mail, the earlier you begin the process, the better.
The last day for a voter to apply and vote absentee in person is November 5. However, applying as soon as you know you will need an Absentee Ballot is a good idea, because the ballot must be returned to your Town Clerk before the polls close on Election Day (8:00 PM).
In addition to regular absentee voting, Connecticut law also provides for an Emergency Absentee Ballot (see below). Emergency Absentee Ballots are intended for any voter who is suddenly injured, taken ill, or hospitalized within six days of the close of Election Day, and takes into consideration the inability of the voter to come to the Town Clerk's office.
In addition to regular absentee voting, Connecticut law also provides for an Emergency Absentee Ballot. Emergency Absentee Ballots are intended for any voter who is suddenly injured, taken ill, or hospitalized within six days of Election Day.
Emergency Absentee Ballots are controlled by the Town Clerk's Office. Using an Emergency Absentee Ballot is similar to Absentee Ballots--but also profoundly different.
The law specifies who can become a Designee to handle ballots for a sick or injured person:
Remember: The ballot must be returned to the Town Clerk's Office by the Designee by the close of voting on Election Day (8:00 PM).
What?! You mean I can register on Election Day?! Why go through that whole registration process ahead of time if I can register and vote on the same day?
One word: Convenience--and that means your convenience. But know that this may come with a substantial wait time. Our registrars will be working hard for your convenience, but plan ahead if at all possible.
Election Day Registration (EDR) was designed to help people who moved into town after the voter-registration cut-off period (this year, that's on October 30) or for any other reason was not able to register until after the cut-off period. However, if you wait, until Election Day to register, be prepared to do a good deal of just that: waiting.
Under the law, those wishing to use EDR for voting, must appear in person at the designated EDR location and declare under oath (by signing a certification provided with the EDR envelope) that they have not previously voted in the election. They must complete the application for voter registration and provide the identification that includes their name and address. Photo IDs are not necessary.
When you register before the deadline on October 30, the Registrar of Voters Office has plenty of time to verify your information and send you notification of acceptance. Wait until Election Day, and that verification has to be done at the time you register. That may mean calling to Registrar of Voter Offices in other towns--and they will be very busy with running an election. (See ID requirements and EDR location below.)
But, if you have no other choice, Election Day Registration can mean the difference between voting and not voting. That's why it was created. That's why it is so important.
If you go in the evening, the Secretary of the State suggests that you get there by 7:00 PM, even if the polls close at 8:00 PM. You could be waiting online until the zero hour!
Election Day Registration ends at 8:00 PM, so allow extra time in case there's a waiting line at your EDR location. If your application hasn't been processed by 8:00 PM--even if you are on line to go through the process--you will not be able to register and to vote.
If you wish to make use of Election-Day Registration (EDR) to vote, you must prove both your identity and residence in the municipality. A current and valid Connecticut Driver's License, Learner's Permit, or Non-Driver's Photo Identification--with your current address--will satisfy both requirements. Other acceptable EDR identification can include these types of documents.
Other types of identification may also be acceptable. If you have a question about appropriate EDR identification, call your local Registrar of Voters--preferably before Election Day. If you cannot show appropriate ID, you will not be able to vote.
Election Day Registration (EDR) will not be available at your polling place. In Stamford, you must go to the Government Center at 888 Washington Blvd. Although EDR does not take place at a polling place, it does start at 6:00 AM and continue up to 8:00 PM (though it is wise to get there by 7:00 PM).
EDR was designed to help people who moved into town after the voter-registration cut-off date or for any other reason was not able to register until after the cut-off period. If you wait, otherwise, until Election Day to register, be prepared to do a good deal of just that: waiting. In fact, if you go in the evening, plan to get there by 7:00 PM, even if the polls close at 8:00 PM. You could be waiting online until the zero hour!
When you register before the deadline of October 30, the Registrar of Voters office has plenty of time to verify your information and send you notification of acceptance. Wait until Election Day, and that verification has to be done at the time you register. That may mean calling to Registrar of Voter Offices in other towns--and they will be very busy with running an election.