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Conn. Installs Ballot Drop Boxes For August Primary Election

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State of Connecticut
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Official ballot drop box

Ballot drop boxes are beginning to appear in towns and cities across Connecticut in time for the Aug. 11 primary election. All eligible primary voters will have the option to cast a mail-in or drop-off absentee ballot this year.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said the idea is to offer an alternative to in-person voting at polling places amid the pandemic. 

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“Nationally we know that people are worried about contracting COVID if they come into contact with people,” Merrill said. “And there are people that are very vulnerable. So, in particular those folks. People over the age of 65, people with underlying illnesses may specifically, this year, and just for the primary by the way, be able to avail themselves of these boxes.”

Merrill said the boxes are secure and made specifically for voting. Every town will have one, and larger cities will get two.

"It will be up to the towns where they’re placed,” Merrill said. “Some of them are talking about putting them right next to their police stations, for example. As long as they let people know where they are and that they’re available to have you be able to drop your ballot in the box with safety. That way you don’t have to touch anything, you don’t have to come into contact with people. It’s a better safety mechanism than just going to town hall.”

The drop boxes were purchased with federal dollars through the CARES Act, specifically for security and safety measures at voting places.

Registered voters will be mailed an application for an absentee ballot. After the ballot is received, voters can fill it out and mail it or deliver it to a drop box.

Lori Connecticut Public's Morning Edition host.

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