What is the permanent absentee ballot?

This is a column submitted regularly by the Wilton League of Women Voters in which electoral issues may be discussed. 

In 2012 Connecticut passed a new law (Public Act 12-57) that allows an eligible voter who is permanently physically disabled to automatically receive an absentee ballot for each election, primary, or referendum held in the voter’s town.

How do I get a ballot automatically?

If you believe you are eligible and would like to receive your absentee ballots automatically, here is what you need to do:

• Obtain a letter from your medical care provider certifying you are unable to appear in person at your polling place to vote because of your disability.

• Fill out an application for an absentee ballot.

• Attach the medical care provider’s letter to your absentee ballot application and submit both to the town clerk’s office.

Absentee ballots for all primaries, elections and referenda occurring in the year of application will be automatically mailed to you during the month prior to each of these events.

How do I continue to receive automatic absentee ballots in subsequent years?

Each January, you will receive a confirmation that you continue to reside at the same address. You must return this confirmation to continue to automatically receive an absentee ballot.

I feel uncomfortable submitting a doctor’s certificate. Is my medical information confidential?

Anyone’s absentee ballot application is subject to Freedom of Information inquiries, but state law requires that your doctor’s certification letter — containing your medical information — remain private and confidential.

What happens if I move?

The registrars of voters will send a written notice to you each year to ask whether you still live at the same address. Please be sure to reply to this notice if you wish to continue receiving your automatic absentee ballot. If you’ve moved to a new address in your town, please reply and note your correct address to receive your ballot.

If you have moved out of town, please reply so the registrars of voters can send you an application for voter registration in your new town. You will have to reapply for an automatic absentee ballot in your new town.

You may request not to receive an automatic absentee ballot at any time.

If you have any questions, call the town clerk’s office at 203-563-0106.

This is a series of columns in which the Wilton League of Women Voters discusses commonly asked questions about Wilton’s town meeting form of government. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government. For information, visit our web site at wiltonlwv.org or write to us at P.O. Box 71, Wilton, CT 06897.