Instructions for Voting In-Person or by Absentee Ballot
The 2020 election on Nov. 3 will be unprecedented in that, because of COVID 19, many individuals will be voting by absentee ballot, placing a great deal of pressure on the United States Postal Service. Therefore, there are specific things you can do to make voting in the upcoming election more efficient and timely.
If you plan to vote by absentee ballot, once you receive your application to receive your ballot, which will be sent to all registered residents, you can either mail in your ballot, or better yet, for safer and faster results, drop it off inside the official drop box in front of the Easton Public Library, across from the Easton Police Department.
To help ensure your ballot has been received on time and counted at the polls, place your ballot into both the inner and outer envelopes per the instructions. Once the Town Hall receives your application, they will send you an actual absentee ballot. You can then either mail in your ballot or drop it off inside the official drop box. Easton residents are encouraged to vote by absentee ballot since this will be the safest way to vote.
The drop box will be open until 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. After that time, it will be locked.
If you plan to vote in person at Samuel Staples Elementary School Gymnasium from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 3, remember that you will be required to wear a mask, sanitize your hands upon entering the gym (there will be hand sanitizer at the entrance), social distance six to eight feet apart (there will be markers), check in, vote, and leave immediately. There will be no lingering or gathering. The goal is to get people in and out of the building as safely as possible. The staff will be sanitizing and wiping down all surfaces frequently. The individuals working at the polls will provide voters with a pen, or they can bring their own black or blue pens. Note that only black or blue pens may be used. Since there will be only a certain amount of people allowed in the building at one time, be prepared to wait in line outside. The lines may get rather lengthy at different times throughout the day.
Presidential Election Information from the Easton Town Website:
The Town Hall has received many phone calls and emails over the last couple of weeks concerning voting and absentee ballots. For the Nov. 3, election, an elector may vote either in person at the polls from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day or by absentee ballot.
Election Facts for 2020 Absentee Ballot and In Person Voting at the Polls:
Connecticut law allows you to receive an absentee ballot if you cannot appear at your assigned polling place on election day because of active service in the Military, absence from the town during all of the hours of voting, illness, religious tenets that forbid secular activity on the day of the election, duties as an election official at a polling place other than your own during all of the hours of voting, or physical disability.
The State of Connecticut, via P.A. 20-3 July Special Session has determined that the existence of the COVID-19 virus allows you to vote by absentee ballot if you so choose for your own safety. To receive your absentee ballot please complete and sign the application (or the application sent from the State of Connecticut)and return it to the Town Clerk using the enclosed postage prepaid envelope to the Official Drop Box located outside the Easton Police Department or by U.S. mail. If you have already submitted your application, you DO NOT need to submit an additional application.
APPLICATIONS FOR ABSENTEE BALLOT
The Secretary of the State (SOTS) is mailing applications to all registered voters in mid- September. If you choose to vote absentee, your Application for Absentee Ballot MUST be properly completed and returned to the Town Clerk’s Office in order for your information to be processed in the State system qualifying you to receive your absentee ballot. Drop off your application in the secure Official Drop Box located across the street from the Easton Police Department OR mail to Town Clerk, Easton Town Hall, 225 Center Road, Easton, CT 06612.
Starting Friday, Oct. 2, ballots will be mailed directly to you by the Town Clerk’s Office. Once you complete your ballot, town officials strongly encourage you to utilize the secure Official Drop Box. Both applications and ballots may be deposited in this box which is available 24/7 and checked periodically. This will allow us to process the ballot more promptly than if you utilize the U.S. Postal Service. It is your choice which method of return to use.
Ballots must be received in the Town Clerk’s office by dropping off in the secure Official Drop Box by 8 p.m. on the day of the election.
A ballot returned by someone other than the voter must be signed and dated on the back, and noted with the relationship to the voter.
Adults (over the age of 18) may return someone else’s ballot (per the instructions on the envelope). A child (under the age of 18) may not return someone’s ballot.
ANSWERS TO IMPORTANT AND COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
-Do I need to vote absentee?
Please note – you do not have to vote by absentee ballot. The polls will be open on Election Day for in person voting, and the Registrars of Voters will provide a socially-distanced and sanitized polling place at Samuel Staples Elementary
-Can I vote at the polls?
Yes. Polling locations will be open from 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 at Samuel Staples Elementary School located at 515 Morehouse Road, Easton.
-Can I vote by Absentee Ballot?
All voters are eligible to vote by absentee ballot in the general election held on Nov. 3 due to the COVID-19, pursuant to Public Act 20-03 July Special Session. Just check the COVID-19 box on the application.
-Do I have to Vote by Absentee Ballot?
No. The polling location at Samuel Staples Elementary School will be open Nov. 3 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
-Will I automatically get an application for absentee ballot in the mail?
Yes. The State of Connecticut will mail out applications for absentee ballots mid-September to all eligible voters. The voter may request the absentee ballot by completing this application and submitting it to the Town Clerk Office by Official Drop Box located outside the Easton Police Department or by mail in order to receive an absentee ballot.
-Will I automatically get a ballot in the mail?
No. Eligible voters must complete an Application for Absentee Ballot and submit it to the Town Clerk to receive an absentee ballot.
-How can I register to vote?
You can register to vote here.
-Is it too early to apply for an absentee ballot?
No! You may apply now for an absentee ballot for November and return it to the Town Clerk; however, please do not send in more than one application.
-Where may I return my application for an absentee ballot?
You may return your completed application to the Town Clerk at Town Hall via the Official Ballot Drop Box located directly across the street from the Easton Police Department or via mail to Easton Town Clerk, 225 Center Road, Easton, CT 06612.
-May I get a ballot now?
Absentee Ballots are scheduled to be available Oct. 2.
-Can I get an absentee ballot to my college or snow-bird residence?
Yes. Please include your preferred mailing address (legibly) on your application to ensure accuracy. College students – please keep in mind that your campus mail service may add additional delay in the return of your ballot.
-What if I applied for an absentee ballot and my college dismissed all on campus residents due to COVID- 19?
Upon change of your requested mailing address, please contact the Town Clerk’s Office firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-268-6291.
-Can I avoid the Post Office and return my absentee ballot in person?
Yes. You can return your ballot to the secure Official Ballot Drop Box located directly across the street from the Easton Police Department and available 24/7 for your convenience.
-I am a military/overseas voter. How can I apply for an absentee ballot?
Military and overseas voters can apply using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at http://www.fvap.gov.
-How do I know if you received my Application for Absentee Ballot?
Please email email@example.com to verify receipt of your application.
Please be patient with our response time due to the increased number of absentee ballot applications we are receiving.
-How do I know if the Town Clerk received my ballot?
You may check the status of receipt of your ballot through the voter lookup tool or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be patient with our response time due to the increased number of absentee ballot applications we are receiving.
Please do not hesitate to email email@example.com or call the office 203-268-6291 with any questions or concerns.
For more information regarding voting, refer to the website eastonct.gov.