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Voting & Registration FAQ

How do I use a voting machine?
Southington now uses optical scan voting machines. Once you are checked in, you will be given a paper ballot with a listing of offices and candidates running for each office. You will take the ballot to a privacy booth where you will fill in the ovals next to the names of the candidates for which you wish to vote. Once you have finished, take the ballot to the voting tabulator. Insert the ballot into the tabulator where it will be counted and stored in the ballot box.

 

Can I Write-in a Vote for a candidate that does not appear on the ballot?
Yes, the paper ballot allows you to cast write-in votes. You need to fill in the oval in the bottom row labeled "Write- In" then write in the name of the person for whom you wish to vote. Be sure that your write in vote does not cause you to vote for more candidates for an office than are allowed. Caution: Under current Connecticut Statutes only those names that have been pre-approved by the Secretary of State as write in candidates will be counted in the final tally.

What happens if I make a mistake in fillng out my ballot or if I change my mind after filling in some of the ovals?
If you change your mind after filling in an oval, or if you made a mistake, you may go back to the Ballot Clerk and request a new ballot. The Ballot Clerk will mark your first ballot as "SPOILED", fold it, and place it in an envelope ensuring that it will not be placed in the voting tabulator. You may be limited to a total of three ballots. 
 
What would cause the machine NOT to accept my ballot?
  • The machine will not accept a ballot in which a voter votes for more candidates for an office than the election allows: ie. voting for two candidates running for governor, or voting for 7 Town Council candidates when the limit is 6. This is called an "Over Vote". 
  • The machine will reject a ballot on which none of the ovals are filled in. In this case the screen will read "Blank Ballot". 
  • The machine will reject a ballot that is not designed to be voted at your particular polling place. 
  • And it may reject a ballot that is bent, folded, or has stray marks that interfere with the coding of the ballot. 
  • Whenever a ballot is rejected the machine will push the ballot back to the voter and a message will appear on the small screen on the machine. Read that message and ask the machine attendent what to do next. The attendent will then direct you to the proper station. 
 
What is the advantage of registering with a Political Party?
Under Connecticut Statutes you cannot vote in a Political Party's Primary unless you are a member of its Party. 

If I am not presently in a Party, how quickly can I join one?
If you are not currently in a party, you will be in the new Party of your choice immediately upon the receipt, by the Registrars, of your completed Form ED-671 (See Above). If you are in one Party and want to change to another, you become an unaffiliated voter for a three month period and then you are automatically placed in your new Party. If you want to go from your present Party to Unaffiliated, it is done immediately upon receipt of the properly completed ED-671 Form.

If I am not in a Political Party, what is my status called?
You are an "unaffiliated" voter. 

If I join a Political Party, must I vote for that party's candidate?
Your vote is secret and you may vote for anyone you choose in the November election. 

What maintains the integrity of the Registration System?
There is an Assistant Registrar of Voters from each major Political Party and election officials and workers for the most part have Representation from each major Political Party.

Under what conditions can I vote by Absentee Ballot?
  • You are on active duty with the Armed Forces.
  • You are absent from town during all the voting hours on Election Day.
  • You are ill.
  • You are physically disabled.
  • Your religion tenets forbid secular activity on the day of election, Primary or Referendum.
  • You are working as an election official or worker at a polling place other than your own. 
How can I get an Absentee Ballot?
In Southington, call the Town Clerk's Office at (860)276-6211 or stop by their office in the Town Hall, located at 75 Main Street, and request an application. Return the completed application to the Town Clerk and the ballot will be mailed to you at the address you request when it is available. 

Why should I tell the Registrars when I move within town?
It is important to vote in the correct district to make sure you are voting for the office holders who represent you, as they differ throughout the town. When we do our yearly mandated canvass of voters early in each year, the Registrars might be advised that you have moved. If your forwarding information has expired, your name will be removed from the active voting list and placed on the inactive list, which may cause you a delay at the polls.

What if I move out of town?
It is necessary to register in your new town. Connecticut registrars will automatically move your voting from Southington to your new town. This will also be helpful in removing your name from the Southington jury duty list. If you move out of state you should also contact the Southington Registrars to remove your name. This will also remove your name from any jury duty list.

If I move back into Southington, do I need to re-register?
Yes, you most likely will have been removed from our list and it will be necessary to register once again.

What if I am in the Armed Forces and move about frequently?
Armed Forces members are treated differently and will be retained at the address they give us until we are advised differently.

What if I am in a nursing home?
You may retain your prior address even if the nursing home is out of town so that you may continue to vote for the people and offices you are most familiar with.

What happens if I am convicted of a felony?
You lose the right to vote in Connecticut. The Registrars in the town of your last reported residence are notified by the Courts to suspend your voting right. When it's determined that you have fully fulfilled all of the requirements of your sentence you can obtain a release from the court officers and with this you can register to vote again. (NOTE: This procedure is under review at this time in Connecticut, so if it applies to you, you may want to check with your Registrars of Voters for the latest statute determination).

How do I make changes to my status or information?
All voter status changes are made with the application form which is a multiple use form. Changes of address, name and Party enrollment changes as well as new registration can be done on Form ED 671--Mail-In Voter Registration Application.