HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut election officials released a coronavirus election plan.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced the state's 27-point plan on Monday, which includes both the Aug. 11 primary and Nov. 3 general elections.
"I think the point of this plan is that we have to be prepared for anything," Merrill said.
Merrill's office, following guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said it will work with the municipalities to give them the resources they need to make in-person voting as safe as it can possibly be, even in the face of a pandemic.
The plan includes approving towns' plans for polling place locations and layouts, staffing levels, emergency plans, and cleaning and safety materials needed.
The office, through the Safe Polls grant program, said it will be able to provide the resources necessary to secure the cleaning and safety equipment, as well as cleaning the polling places themselves and hiring additional poll workers, that will keep our voters and our poll workers safe.
It will also be able to help the towns recruit and train poll workers for Election Day.
A public safety education plan is also in the works.
"I am committed to working with our partners at the local level to ensure that our polling places are following the most up-to-date health guidelines, and are clean and safe for every voter and every poll worker," Merrill said.
Merrill plants to mail absentee ballot applications to every registered voter in Connecticut.
"We suspect more people will be wanting to use absentee ballots because thy're fearful of going to a polling place, especially when they've been told by the governor to stay home," Merrill said.
Typically, up to 8 percent of voters use an absentee ballot in Connecticut. Merrill expects higher demands this year, especially since Connecticut's constitution doesn't allow for voting by mail.
Merrill is asking lawmakers to change statutory limits, but it's still not clear who can qualify. Only people who are sick or out of town qualify now.
The office said it also worked with the National Guard to address any cyber security situations. Towns with chronic connectivity issues will have their systems upgraded.
"Since the Russians attempted to interfere in our election in 2016, cyber security has become one of our highest priorities," Merrill said. "All the information we have received from the federal intelligence community indicates that various malicious actors are still seeking to disrupt our elections, but Connecticut is partnering with federal, state, and local officials to make our cyber security as strong as it can be, and our elections among the most secure in the country."
The complete plan can be found here: