Merrill: Connecticut poll workers well-prepared for election - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Merrill: Connecticut poll workers well-prepared for election

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Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says Connecticut poll workers will be more prepared than in past years. (WFSB) Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says Connecticut poll workers will be more prepared than in past years. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB/AP) -

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says Connecticut poll workers will be more prepared than in past years for next week's hotly contested presidential election, thanks partly to recent state legislation.

Merrill points out how all registrars of voters and moderators must now receive training and certification. She says such changes have led to more standardization across the state.

Merrill says there have also been more training sessions and conference calls with local elections officials so poll workers will know the rules for polling place behavior. Also, she says many moderators have contacted their local law enforcement agencies so they'll be available in case any problem arises.

Merrill is expecting a high voter turnout, given the record number of registrations. Typically, turnout is 70 to 75 percent of registered voters.

"We've made it very easy now to register to vote ... we've gone where they are, which is online, we've done all the social media outreach ... and it's netting more voters than we've ever seen," Merrill said.

She says she had no idea simple social media reminders would generate thousands of online registrations, and she’s hoping those who registered will stop by their polling place next week and cast their ballot.

"Facebook put some reminders up just recently ... in one day we had 18,000 new voters. That never happens," Merrill said.

After voter registration became digital, Eyewitness News asked Merrill if voting would soon follow suit.

Secretary Merrill said she doesn't think that will happen for a very long time.

"I was full steam ahead with technology and I think for registering to vote, you've got to be where people trust the system,” Merrill said.

As a large turnout is expected for this Election Day, officials said they are well prepared and plans are in place to ensure everything goes smoothly.

"Yes, there's going to be lines ... there's going to be a lot of people, the lines are going to be very heavy," said Melissa Russell of Connecticut Town Clerks Association.

To make things easier, voters are being asked to make sure they’re heading to the correct polling place, to not bring politically-charged items with them to the polls, and to leave enough time to vote.

The estimated wait time for registered voters is about 30 minutes.

"I can't stress this enough to people who need to register on Election Day ... do not go to the polls, you will be turned away. All Election Day registration is conducted at a central location at each town, call your town to find out where that will be,” Russell said.

If you haven't registered but would like to vote, you can choose Election Day registration.

You must bring a proof of identification and residency to the registration spot designated by your city or town.

If you are registered to vote, polling places open at 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.