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Important Information for Students: Voting in Connecticut
To the UConn Community:
We write to you today with some important information about voting in the upcoming election on Nov. 3.
We sincerely hope that every eligible member of our community – and every American – takes the time to exercise their right to cast a ballot for the candidates of their choice.
Typically, some members of our student population have not yet registered to vote and would like to do so as the election approaches. Given this, each year around election time there are numerous questions about how to register and cast a ballot in Connecticut, especially for students who live on the Storrs campus or in the Town of Mansfield.
If you are a resident of the state of Connecticut and are eligible to vote, and have not already registered in your hometown, you have until Oct. 27 to register to vote in our state. Here is a link to a website that describes how and provides other useful information.
However, with the pandemic, this is no ordinary year. In light of COVID-19, the state of Connecticut is allowing all registered voters to cast an absentee ballot in the upcoming election if they wish to, rather than voting in person. We urge all UConn students who are Connecticut residents, especially those who live on the Storrs campus or in the Town of Mansfield, to take advantage of this option.
It will do three things:
- Many UConn students have in the past taken advantage of the state’s same-day registration program.
However, given the size of our population relative to town staff in Mansfield specifically, this can also cause delays for our students, town staff, and other voters because of the time it takes to register hundreds or thousands of UConn students on a single day. Registering to vote now and casting an absentee ballot means you don’t have to worry about same-day registration or voting in person on Election Day. The deadline to request an absentee ballot in person is Nov. 2, and the ballot must be received by town clerks by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3.
Mansfield’s same-day registration site will be in the Town Hall at 4 South Eagleville Road, in the Council Chambers room. Students must bring identification and proof of residency to register and vote there.
- Many voters of any age or state of health might be uncomfortable going to an in-person polling place, even with masks and social distancing. Voting absentee in Connecticut means you can vote without placing yourself in a situation that might make you uncomfortable.
- At any given time, we have students in medical quarantine and/or who are in isolation because they have the COVID-19 virus or have had close contact with someone who tested positive. A student who is perfectly fine in late October might find themselves in isolation by Election Day, meaning they cannot go into public to cast their ballot and would miss their chance to vote. While we have a very low prevalence of the virus on our campuses at the moment, none of us can predict the future, even a few weeks away. Registering now and voting by absentee ballot will mean you don’t have to worry about being unable to vote when the time comes.
Absentee ballots and applications can be mailed at the Storrs Post Office located at 9 Charles Smith Way in Storrs.
For students registered to vote in Mansfield, an official ballot drop box is located outside the Mansfield Town Hall just off the Storrs campus at 4 South Eagleville Road, on the corner of Route 195 and South Eagleville. The box is by the back door nearest the parking lot.
If you are registered to vote in Connecticut and intend to vote in person but aren’t sure where your polling place is, visit this site.
If you are an out-of-state student seeking to register to vote, you can visit this site for details specific to your state.
Tom Katsouleas, President
Carl Lejuez, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Michael Gilbert, Vice President for Student Affairs