Darien absentee ballots more than double from 2016

The Town of Darien has a ballot box outside for applications for absentee ballots and to submit ballots.

The Town of Darien has a ballot box outside for applications for absentee ballots and to submit ballots.


DARIEN — More than 4.000 absentee ballot applications have already been received in town for the 2020 election, Republican Registrar of Voters John Visi said.

In 2016, that number was 1,482 for the entire election season.

The town has a box outside Town Hall for easy drop-off of applications and ballots and began sending out ballots last week. Visi said he’s already received some early voters’ ballots in the box as well.

To help with the increase, the Town Clerk has hired four additional workers to document and process the absentee applications. The registrar’s office is staffing the central absentee counting group with 20 workers — up from the usual four to six employees.

Connecticut has strict laws as to who can vote absentee. This year, all voters are eligible to vote by absentee ballot in the general election held on Nov. 3 due to the COVID-19. Voters can check the COVID-19 box on the application.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill reported last week that more than 115,000 requests for absentee ballots have been processed by town clerks, who have received additional federal funding to handle the extra work. Merrill’s office mailed out about 2.1 million ballot applications to all registered voters, who in turn should send them to their local town clerks if they want to vote by mail.

“This election will be the first election in Connecticut history where every voter is allowed to vote by absentee ballot, and we are expecting a record number of absentee ballots to be cast,” Merrill said. “Please send your application in as early as possible, use the secure drop box outside your town hall to deliver your application and your ballot, and remember that polls will still be open on Election Day if you would rather vote in person. Your vote is your voice - make your voice heard.”

Darien’s Registrar of Voters office is now open from 8 to 10 a.m. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the office will be open by appointment only. Registration forms are available on the table outside the registrars office. There is a drop box in the gym lobby to drop off voter registration applications.

To make an appointment, or with any other questions about voting, call 203-656-7307 or visit the Registrars of Voters page at darienct.gov.