As the general election takes place during the COVID-19 pandemic, voters who opt to submit their ballots in person will need to keep health precautions and poll locations in mind.
Registered voters can find their polling place on Secretary of State Denise W. Merrill’s website. 33 polling locations will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and anyone who is registered to vote and in line by 8 p.m. has the right to cast their ballot. Raymond Lucarelli ’23, the Connecticut voter state captain of student coalition Yale Votes, recommends heading to the polls as early as possible to avoid long wait times and large crowds like those that led some voters to give up on same-day registration in 2018.
While the deadline to pre-register for voting was Oct. 27, voters are still able to register in person on Election Day at City Hall. Voters planning on same-day registration need to bring a Connecticut driver’s license or the last four digits of their Social Security number. They can then vote at City Hall, as opposed to the polling place otherwise designated for their address. Same-day registration at City Hall can also help voters who have found errors in their ballots or never received their requested ballot, said Grace Whittington ’22, a member of the Yale College Democrats.
Students who voted in the last New Haven election have noted some discrepancies between their assigned polling location then and now. Information about which polling location voters should go to — and whether or not their mail-in ballot was received — is available to voters on Secretary of State Denise W. Merrill’s website.
According to the website, voters may show photo ID or a driver’s license upon arrival at polls, but in lieu of one they are also permitted to sign an affidavit confirming their identity. A Yale student ID is considered a valid form of identification. More information about what forms of identification are valid can be found here.
Henry Smith ’22, a member of the Yale College Democrats, told the News that there will be strict social distancing guidelines at the polls and that voters are expected to wear facial coverings. He added that polls will be cleaned periodically throughout the day and said this could lead to delays in voting. For this reason, Smith asked voters to remember to treat poll workers with respect, as they have “no control over the wait times you experience.”
“Remember to follow six-feet social distancing and any additional guidelines stated by poll workers, even if you are with a group of friends,” Smith said.
YaleVotes, a nonpartisan student organization dedicated to increasing voter turnout among Yale students, will have a hotline available to students on Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The hotline will be available to students regardless of where they are voting from and can be reached at 475-329-0492 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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