With election weeks away, voter registration push intensifies - WFSB 3 Connecticut


With election weeks away, voter registration push intensifies

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)

Campaign 2016 is just two weeks away from finishing.

No matter who people choose for candidates, they need to be registered if they want to vote.

The deadline, according to the Secretary of the State's office, is a week from Tuesday.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said people can register in person, by mail or even online.

Connecticut does do same-day registration. So people could sign up on Election Day. However, they could be looking at long lines.

Four years ago, that scenario was a mess in New Haven.

During the last presidential election. there were long lines inside New Haven City Hall. The lines consisted of people who waited until Election Day to register.

"Some people stood for hours in line without the ability to vote," said Mayor Toni Harp.

Harp said she wanted voters to avoid that by registering ahead of time. She stressed that time was running out.

"Registration can be done in person at the Registrar of Voters office, or at state DMV offices," Harp said. "Or it can be done by mail, or it can be done online, but officials need a full week to verify registration information, hence the Nov. 1 deadline."

If people wait until the last minute, Harp said you could also be taking a pretty big risk.

"If you are already registered and you are in line and it turns 8:00 [p.m.], they will wait until everyone who was there before 8 gets to vote," she said. "But if you are in line here and haven't registered yet and it's 8:00, you've got to go home."

Michael Sisti, a Yale University freshman, said he doesn't have to worry. He already cast his vote by filling out an absentee ballot while home in West Hartford on fall break.

"[The] Yale Daily News just did a story about 80 percent of Yale students are registered to vote, hoping to vote, so we have a pretty high turnout," he said. "Most of the freshmen are absentee voting, I think the trend is towards more upperclassmen register to vote here, because it's easier and you have more say in local elections, which people feel very strongly about here."

For more information on Connecticut voter registration, click here.

For a voter registration look-up database, click here.

You can register to vote through the Department of Motor Vehicles as well, here.

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