Now that Gov. Ned Lamont has signed the law bringing early voting to the state, Easton has begun looking for more volunteers to staff the polls, which will be open up to 14 days at a time, beginning after Jan. 1, 2024.

The legislation, which makes Connecticut one of the last states to adopt such a system, requires 14 days of early voting for general elections, seven days of early voting for most primaries, and four days of early voting for special elections and presidential preference primaries. Only three other states — Alabama, Mississippi and New Hampshire — do not permit early voting. In November, Connecticut voters approved a constitutional amendment to give state lawmakers the go ahead to create a system of early voting.

Gov. Lamont has signed legislation establishing early voting in Connecticut elections and primaries. – Photo by Sophie Camizzi

“We have got a lot to work on,” said David Smith, the Democratic Registrar of Voters, “but we have time to sort things out.” More people will be needed and more often, and Smith is expecting Stephanie Thomas, the secretary of the state, to provide more information on what is involved and how volunteers can lend a hand. “Typically, our poll workers are very good, very loyal,” he said.

For starters, the state is giving the town $10,000 for early voting, said state Rep. Anne Hughes. “We expect that number to be adjusted up in next year’s legislative session.” The figure does not include the bonding for upgrading tabulator machines or the training of registrars and clerks, she added.

Dori Wollen, the Republican Registrar of Voters, foresees poll workers putting in half-days twice in a row. “This is still in its infancy,” she said of the new arrangement, although she says Easton, with just two voting districts, will have less of a problem than, say, Stratford with 10 districts.

The first time voters and poll workers will take part in early voting will be in April, when a presidential preference primary is slated to take place over four days.

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