Many voters take advantage of absentee ballots - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Many voters take advantage of absentee ballots

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MANCHESTER, CT (WFSB) -

Absentee voting is becoming a popular trend and more and more people are voting through mail.

Officials said the absentee vote will play a key role in Tuesday night's elections. And that is why one city was preparing early on Election Day.

"I've been at the registrar for 16 years and I've never seen such a heavy vote," said Frank Mefee, who is the Manchester Registrar of Voters.

As of 5 p.m., there were 1,700 absentee ballots in the Mancher town clerk's office and that number is expected to grow, which will make the absentee bloc important.

"We have 30,000 voters in town. We're assuming 80 percent will vote, so that's 24,000," Mefee said. "This is about 7 percent of that 24,000 so I can't tell you for sure how they're going to vote. I'd love to, but I couldn't tell you."

In Meriden, the process is no different and each ballot will be counted by hand before it goes through a scanning machine.

"In 2008, it was 70 percent. This year in trying to be extra careful, I ordered 90 percent. Do I really expect 90 percent? I would be surprised," said Toni Soboleski, who is the Meriden Registrar of Voters. "But with all the hype and activity and it running so close, I thought it was better to be safe than sorry."

The absentee ballots are usually the first counted and because of the high turnout, this group could give a good indication of how the night will go.

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