Wilton prepares for primary on Tuesday

WILTON — In the 2018 gubernatorial primary, Wilton voters cast 2,009 votes. About that many have requested absentee ballots for the Presidential Preference Primary on Tuesday, Aug. 11. The polls will also be open for those who prefer to vote in person.

Democratic voters will be casting ballots for U.S. President only.

The ballot includes: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard and Uncommitted.

Republican voters have two races: U.S. President and state Senator for the 26th District.

The choices for president are: Donald Trump, Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, and Uncommitted.

The state Senate candidates are Kim Healy and William Duff.

All three of Wilton’s polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.:

 The Clune Center at Wilton High School, 395 Danbury Road.

 Cider Mill School cafeteria, 240 School Road.

 Middlebrook School cafeteria, 131 School Road.

To protect against the spread of the coronavirus, polling places will be cleaned throughout the day. Poll workers will be wearing masks, face shields and gloves and will be working behind a plexiglass shield.

Voters can hold their IDs up to the shield so the checker can see it but not touch it.

There will be no pens in the voting booths. Instead, each voter will be given a pen and asked to return it to a box at the exit. Those pens will be sanitized for use in the next election. No voter will touch a pen that was touched by another person.

Absentee ballots

To ensure people only vote once, anyone who returns an absentee ballot will have their name marked with a red letter “A” in the polling place checker books and will not be able to vote at the polls.

If two absentee ballots are returned by one voter, the town clerk will count only the last ballot issued to that voter. In the event that a voter receives two ballots, they should call the town clerk at 203-563-0106 and only vote on one ballot.

To request an application for an absentee ballot, visit Absentee Ballots page on the town website, wiltonct.org, or call the town clerk’s office.

On primary day, the absentee ballots will be run through a tabulator — separate from those used in polling places — after the polls close at 8, according to Democratic Registrar Karen Birck. She did not know how many had been returned by Monday, Aug. 3.

Filling out absentee ballots correctly is crucial to having them count. The League of Women Voters of Connecticut offers tips on how to fill out the ballot correctly.

 Mark the ballot carefully. Unlike a polling place, voters may not get a new ballot if they make a mistake. Ovals should be fully filled in.

 Insert the completed ballot into the inner envelope, seal it and then sign your name on the space with the “X” on the outside of the envelope. This is very important. If the inner envelope is not signed, the ballot cannot be counted.

 Place the inner envelope inside the outer mailing envelope and seal it. For this election, the outer envelopes will not require postage.

 Drop the postage-paid envelope in the nearest mailbox, or in the secure drop box in front of the Wilton police station at 240 Danbury Road on the town hall complex.

Absentee ballots can arrive on the day of the primary. They need to be in the hands of the town clerk by the close of the polls at 8 p.m.

Town Clerk Lori Kaback will go to the post office to pick up absentee ballots at 5 p.m. on Aug. 11. She will also empty the drop box at 8 p.m. Any ballot in the drop box by 8 p.m. on Aug. 11 will be counted.

Time to register

Only people who are registered in a party — Democratic or Republican — may vote in that party’s primary. There is still time for some people to register to participate.

New voter registration deadlines are Aug. 6 — by mail or online — and Aug. 10 by noon, in person.

Unaffiliated voters may enroll in a party by Aug. 6 — by mail — or by Aug. 10, by noon in person.

Patricia Gay contributed to this story.