Secretaria de Estado de CT coordina con Municipios y CL&P Elecciones de Nov. 8

Secretaria de Estado de CT, Denise Merrill coordina con Municipios y CL&P Elecciones de Nov. 8
La Secretaria de Estado de CT ha coordinado con los Municipios y CL&P para asegurarse que las Elecciones Municipales puedan llevarse a cabo el 8 de Noviembre del 2011.
El plan es llevar a cabo las Elecciones el próximo Martes, a pesar de la falta de luz, a través de una coordinación sin precedentes e intercambio de recursos.

HARTFORD: Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced today that her office has launched unprecedented outreach and coordination efforts with local election administrators in more than 150 Connecticut towns to make sure municipal elections scheduled for next Tuesday November 8, 2011 can go forward, despite widespread power outages in the state as a result of last weekend’s devastating snow storm. In addition, Secretary Merrill’s office has provided Connecticut Light & Power a list of polling places for the municipal elections and officials with the utility have agreed to work closely with the Secretary to restore electricity to those locations as soon as possible.

“The shortages of electricity and difficulties with communication and mobility are challenging local election administrators like never before as they prepare for the polls to open next Tuesday,” said Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s chief elections official. “Despite this, we have spoken to hundreds of local officials, including Registrars of Voters, Mayors, First Selectmen and Emergency Managers, and we have seen extraordinary generosity with towns that have power offering to help neighboring communities in need with election preparation. The integrity of our elections is paramount, yet this is an extraordinary situation. We are telling local officials to be practical and do what they can to ensure that Connecticut voters can cast ballots as scheduled next Tuesday for municipal offices, and we will do whatever we can to help them. To that end, we are also working directly with Connecticut Light and Power to make sure they know where the polling places are for next Tuesday so they can get power restored to those locations as soon as possible.”
William J. Quinlan, Vice President of Customer Solutions for Connecticut Light & Power, said, “As we are working around the clock to restore electric power to the areas that need it in Connecticut, we are coordinating closely with the Secretary of the State to make sure that polling places are operational for next Tuesday’s election. We commend the Secretary of the State for her leadership and taking the initiative to reach out to us on this very important issue, and we will remain in close contact with her staff over the next few days.”

Secretary Merrill conducted two telephone conference calls today with election administrators from over 150 Connecticut cities and towns to coordinate plans and update local communities about contingency plans. The following topics were discussed:

Questions were answered about what to do if there is no power at a polling place.
• Towns can move polling locations if there is no electricity at a polling place
• Using a shelter as a polling place might be a practical way to solve the problem, just need to follow notification procedure for changing polling locations
• If towns have electricity, machines should be plugged in and batteries should be charging. Battery packs for optical scan machines can last up to 16 hours and should be able to cover the scanners for Election Day
• Coordinate with local emergency managers or fire departments to see if generators are available to charge optical scan backup batteries
• Registrars of Voters were told not to use battery backup packs for other items because that may limit battery power needed for optical scanners on Election Day
• If you know a polling place will not have electricity, start planning now for alternative location
• Make sure you get in touch with CL&P to get polling places power restored.
• Contact fire department to make sure you can use polling place without power.
• Have flashlights and emergency supplies ready for polling places

If a town needs to move a polling place:
• Town clerk and both registrars must agree that polling place is unusable
• Public must be notified (newspapers, posting notices at libraries, schools, online, old polling place, putting someone there at old polling place to notify people)
• Also notify Secretary of the State if polling places are moved
• Towns need to be practical, need to evaluate on a case-by-case basis on whether polling places need to be moved.
• If towns want to move a polling place just due to lack of electricity, then wait until later in the week to make that determination because power may be restored by the end of the week.
• If you consolidate a polling place, then they need to be separate spaces within one building
• You need to make sure you have enough parking, notify police of need to augment parking, work with them due to extraordinary circumstance

Updating the voter list:
• Towns need to log in to the Centralized Voter Registration Database to update the voter list for their town.
• Any local election administrator can log in as their town from any town in the state or at Secretary of the State’s office. Go to neighboring towns, we urge towns to work together and provide internet/network connectivity
• Towns can use our office to log in and generate a voter list.
• Others can login for you and send you a new voter list as an email attachment

Testing Machines:
• If you have already tested machines, that is great.
• If not, please test as soon as possible.
• If you get power even during Election Day, you can switch over to using the machines from just using low-tech paper ballots.
• If that is the case, then you need to “loosely” test machines before using them
• If you need to test machines, you need power. If you have no power, get to a site that has power to test the machines.

The following communities in Connecticut have reported having electricity and have offered to help communities without power prepare for the municipal election:

• Canaan
• Canton
• Enfield
• Granby
• Greenwich
• Hartford
• Litchfield
• Manchester
• Montville
• New Britain
• New Hartford (generator power)
• North Canaan
• Salisbury
• Sharon
• Shelton
• South Windsor
• Wallingford
• Woodbridge
Secretary Merrill will conduct another series of conference calls on Friday November 4, 2011 to coordinate Election preparations with local election administrators.

Yesterday, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy issued Executive Order No. 12, extending the in-person voter registration deadline for the upcoming municipal elections in Connecticut to Monday November 7, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. Voters can now register as long as they go to their local Registrar of Voters or Town Clerk by next Monday November 7th at noon. Voter Registration forms are available online at www.sots.ct.gov or they are obtainable at town offices or Division of Motor Vehicles offices. Registrars of Voters are required by law to be in their offices next Monday until 12:00 p.m. to process those late voter registrations.

Secretary Merrill also reminds voters who are able to go online at www.sots.ct.gov to check their registration status, see where their polling place is located, and look at the ballot for their city or town. Polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. in most Connecticut cities and towns for municipal elections on Tuesday November 8, 2011.

Av Harris
Director of Communications
Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill
av.harris@ct.gov

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