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Voter guide: What you need to know about Connecticut’s 2022 elections

A white privacy shield with an American flag graphic and the words VOTE rests on a table in the Mansfield Community Center polling station.
Mark Mirko
/
Connecticut Public
Polls in Connecticut will be open Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and any elector standing in line at the polls at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

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Voters across Connecticut will go to the polls Nov. 8 to cast ballots in a number of races, including those that will decide Connecticut’s next governor and races that could impact control of Congress.

Ballots will vary depending on where you live and also include a number of local races and contests for Connecticut’s state legislature.

Registered voters should double-check their polling location before voting. For the general election, same-day registration is allowed.

Here's what you need to know for election day.

What are the races?

When are polls open?

Polls in Connecticut are open Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Any elector standing in line at the polls at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

How do I register to vote?

You can register to vote online, by mail, or in person at your local registrar of voters or the Department of Motor Vehicles.

According to the Secretary of the State, “the pre-election voter registration cutoff deadline is seven (7) days before Election Day” or Tuesday, Nov. 1.

Can I register to vote on Election Day?

Yes. Eligible voters can register and vote in person on Election Day. Note: Election Day registration is not available at your polling place. Instead, visit a designated Election Day Registration location in your town. These locations open at 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Plan for long lines. You must be registered by 8 p.m. in order to vote. You will need to provide proof of identity and residency, according to the Secretary of the State.

Where do I vote?

Registered voters can look up their polling place here.

Do you need to show photo identification in order to vote?

No. In lieu of presenting ID, you can, in most cases, sign an affidavit when poll workers ask for ID. Your identification does not need to be a driver’s license. It also does not need to have a photo. Here is a detailed list of Connecticut’s in-person voter ID requirements.

Can I vote by absentee ballot?

Yes. Connecticut law allows you to receive an absentee ballot if you cannot appear at your assigned polling place on Election Day. Reasons for this can include illness, active military service, religious beliefs, physical disabilities and a variety of other factors.

You can request an absentee ballot up until the day before the election, Monday, Nov. 7.

To receive an absentee ballot, you can complete and sign an application and return it in person or by mail to your local Town Clerk, or use a secure ballot drop box.

The state has also launched an online portal for absentee ballots. It requires you to have a Connecticut driver’s license.

Applications in both English and Spanish can be found here.

How can I see the ballot for my town?

Here is a list of ballots by town.


Governor and Lieutenant Governor

In the race for governor, incumbent Democrat Ned Lamont faces Republican challenger Bob Stefanowski and Independent Party candidate Rob Hotaling. For Stefanowski, it’s a rematch against Lamont. In 2018, Stefanowski lost by 3.2 percentage points or about 40,000 votes.
Lamont told Where We Liveon Sept. 8 he worked to “strike the right balance” between tax relief and paying down the state’s massive pool of pension debt. He also reflected on the work his administration did during the COVID-19 pandemic that defined much of the Democrat’s first term.

Stefanowski told Where We Liveon Sept. 6 that if he’s elected governor, people will “live their lives as they see fit.” He claimed the government was “getting in the way” of parents and their children. “Parents should be making the decision about what social issues to talk to their kids about when they’re in grade school,” he said.

Hotaling told Where We Liveon Oct. 6 that he’s “the only one who can break the blue-red divide.” Hotaling said he’s previously been part of both Republican and Democratic parties. “Actually being part of both those parties makes it even better,” he said. “A lot of my platform [is] beholden to the best ideas, not the parties.”

U.S. Senate

Democratic U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal faces Republican challenger Leora Levy. Blumenthal was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and previously served as Connecticut’s attorney general. Levy, a first-time candidate who lent her campaign more than $1 million, touted her backing from former President Donald Trump as proof that she is a “true America-first patriot.” She is a GOP fundraiser and former commodities trader.

U.S. House of Representatives (1st District)

Democrat John Larson represents Connecticut’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was first elected in 1998 and has served 12 terms. In Congress, Larson has served as the chair of the Democratic Caucus of the House. He also promotes his chairmanship on the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Social Security.

Republican Larry Lazor works as a physician at Hartford Hospital. He describes himself as a moderate Republican focused on the economy. He has said his time working in health care provides him with a fresh perspective to serve in government.

Larson and Lazor met in a debate hosted by Connecticut Public on Oct. 11.

U.S. House of Representatives (2nd District)

Democrat Joe Courtney has represented the 2nd District for more than a decade after narrowly defeating Republican Rob Simmons in 2006 by only 83 votes.

Republican challenger Mike France, a Navy veteran, is serving his fourth term as a state representative for the 42nd District in Connecticut. France is the ranking member of the General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee and bills himself as “dedicated to the principles of limited government, economic freedom, and individual liberty.”

Courtney and France met in a debate hosted by Connecticut Public on Oct. 4.

U.S. House of Representatives (3rd District)

Rosa DeLauro was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990. She is a former co-chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee and is chair of the Appropriations Committee.

Lesley DeNardis is vice president of academic affairs at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell. DeNardis is the daughter of Lawrence J. DeNardis, the last Republican member of Congress to represent the 3rd District in the early 1980s.

U.S. House of Representatives (4th District)

Jim Himes was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008. He has served on the Committee on Financial Services and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Himes was born in Peru, attended Harvard University and is a former Rhodes Scholar.

Jayme Stevenson served for 10 years as Darien’s First Selectman. She says she will “bring bipartisan solutions to Congress” and will work to restore and preserve freedoms that “allow every American to pursue happiness.”

Himes and Stevenson met in a debate hosted by Connecticut Public on Oct. 14.

U.S. House of Representatives (5th District)

Jahana Hayes made history in 2018 as the first Black woman to represent Connecticut in Congress. Speakingon Connecticut Public Radio’s Where We Live, Hayes said her message to voters is her record in Congress, including voting forthe American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package Congress passed in March 2021.

George Logan served for two terms as a state senator. He is trained as an engineer and played guitar in a Jimi Hendrix tribute band. Speaking on Where We Live, Logan said he would describe himself “as a proud Connecticut Republican. I’m more moderate when it comes to dealing with social issues and more conservative-leaning when it comes to financial, fiscal issues.”

Logan said he’s consistently supported women’s rights, including access to an abortion, “as long as it’s safe, legal and rare.” Hayes recently took part in a discussion with Vice President Kamala Harris and the national president of Planned Parenthood on abortion rights.

Secretary of the State

Dominic Rapini said he believes fraud is undermining elections in Connecticut.

“There absolutely is a culture of fraud in our cities that we have to take care of,” Rapini said. “Because, when we don’t do that, people feel that their vote does not count.”

Stephanie Thomas said cases of fraud in Connecticut are small when compared to the large numbers of people who vote. In 2020, Connecticut saw record turnout at the polls.

“You think about the 1.8 million voters who vote here in Connecticut – it’s what most people would call an acceptable risk. I think zero fraud is naive and unrealistic,” Thomas said.

A state judge recently found the former Stamford Democratic chief guilty in a voter fraud case tied to the 2015 election.

But nationally, a review of the 2020 election found cases of voter fraud to be virtually non-existent in six battleground states disputed by former President Donald Trump.

Thomas and Rapini met in a debate hosted by Connecticut Public on Oct. 18.

Treasurer

If elected, Erick Russell could be the first Black out LGBTQ person elected to statewide office in U.S. history, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund. Russell is an attorney who specializes in municipal finances.

He faces Harry Arora, a state representative and ranking member of the Labor and Public Employees Committee. He’s also a member of the Energy & Technology and the Human Services committees.

Comptroller

  • Sean Scanlon (Democratic Party / Independent Party / Working Families Party)
  • Mary Fay (Republican Party)

State Rep. Sean Scanlon is in his fourth term representing Branford and Guilford and is the House chairman of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

Mary Fay has served three terms as a member of West Hartford’s Town Council. She is a financial services senior executive.

Attorney General

William Tong has served as Connecticut’s attorney general since 2019. He was a member of the state House of Representatives from 2007 to 2019. Tong touts his work combating the opioid and addiction crisis, and securing settlement money for Connecticut.

Jessica Kordas bills herself as a “political outsider” who got involved “with fighting against mask mandates” in Norwalk. She is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association and said she is an advocate for the rights of parents to make decisions for their children.

Are there statewide ballot questions this year?

Yes. There’s a statewide ballot question regarding early voting. Voters will be asked: “Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to permit the General Assembly to provide for early voting?”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Connecticut is one of only a handful of states that does not offer early in-person voting. In other states, early voting laws let ballots be cast anywhere from a few days to a few weeks before an election at designated polling spots. People who support early voting say it gives people more flexibility to vote.

Former Democratic Secretary of the State Denise Merrill told Connecticut Public Radio that early voting would “enable many more people to be able to vote more conveniently.”

If the ballot question passes, the state legislature would still need to write early voting laws. According to the League of Women Voters, that means early voting would not appear in Connecticut until at least 2024.

Many municipalities will also have their own ballot questions that will vary by town.

Connecticut Public’s Lisa Hagen contributed to this report. This story contains information from the Associated Press.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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