West Hartford voters: New polling stations are now in place – We-Ha

Many West Hartford voters will vote at a different location for the August primaries and for the November general election.

Example of a postcard from the City of West Hartford Registrar’s Office.

By Ronni Newton

In the upcoming Republican and Democratic primaries on August 9, 2022, as well as the general election on November 8, 2022, some voters will vote at different polling places — places that will be their polling places for the next 10 years. .

Pink postcards were recently sent to all voters informing them of their polling location. Anyone registered should receive a card even if their polling station has not changed, or even if they are not eligible to vote in the Aug. 9 primary.

“The cards were sent everywhere, regardless of party, regardless of which polling place they go to,” Democratic Registrar of Electors Beth Sweeney said Monday.

The polling station changes are the result of a redistricting that was necessary to comply with the 2020 census. The process takes place every 10 years and is led by a bipartisan committee of General Assembly members.

The state redistricting committee has updated legislative district boundaries, and those changes have impacted West Hartford where, starting with the next statewide election, the city will have five – rather than three – state representatives.

Example of the back of a postcard from the West Hartford City Registrar’s Office.

Who is running and who can vote in the August 9, 2022 primary?

Only those registered with a major party (Democrat or Republican) are eligible to vote on August 9, 2022.

The window to change affiliation from one major party to another passed months ago, but those who are unaffiliated have up to five days before the primary to affiliate with one of the major parties, Sweeney said. The change can be made in person at City Hall, as well as by mail, but a change request made by mail must arrive at the Registrar’s office at least five days prior to the primary.

Sweeney said potential voters should be aware that Election Day registration is NOT available for the August primaries.

Residents who are currently 17 but will turn 18 on or before November 8, 2022 can vote in a primary on August 9, 2022 provided they properly register with one of the major parties in advance .

Democratic races with primaries include:

  • Secretary of State – Stephanie Thomas (approved), Maritza Bond
  • State Treasurer – Erick Russell (approved), Dita Bhargava, Karen DuBois-Walton

Sample Republican ballot for the August 9, 2022 primary

Republican races with primaries include:

  • US Senator – Themis Klarides (approved), Lenora Levy, Peter Lumaj
  • Secretary of State – Dominic Rapini (approved), Terrie Wood

Sample Republican ballot for the August 9, 2022 primary

Where are the West Hartford polls?

West Hartford previously had nine polling places and nine civic districts – three for each state representative.

As a result of the statewide realignment, the city had to redesign its own neighborhoods, and did so with a bipartisan committee of city council members. Deputy Mayor Liam Sweeney chaired the committee, and other members were Democrat Adrienne Billings-Smith and Republicans Mark Zydanowicz and Alberto Cortes.

The two sides worked well together throughout the process, Sweeney told the board, which unanimously approved the plan at its March 22, 2022 meeting.

The new arrangement has eight polling places, but because slices of West Hartford are now represented by other state officials, the city’s first and fourth districts are split 1-1 and 1-2 and 4- 1 and 4-2. 1-1 and 1-2 will vote at King Philip Middle School, while 4-1 and 4-2 will vote at Charter Oak International Academy, but there will be separate entries to each site depending on the district in which the elector resides. .

Although there are no primaries this year for state representative seats, voters whose streets are located in the 1-1 or 4-1 district of the city will see their representatives change from november.

Beginning with the November election, a slice of the northeast corner of West Hartford (the city’s new 1-1 district), which was part of the 18th State House district represented by Jillian Gilchrest, will become part of the 15th district. That seat is currently held by Bobby Gibson, a Democrat who also represents Bloomfield and part of Windsor, and is running unopposed for re-election.

A slice of the southeast corner (the city’s new 4-1 District), which was once part of the 20th District represented by Kate Farrar, will become part of the 6th District from November. That seat is held by Edwin Vargas of Hartford, who is also unopposed.

The realignment resulted in some of the former polling stations being consolidated into the same district. For example, Braeburn Elementary School – one of the busiest polling places in the city – and Sedgwick Middle School ended up in the same district, as did Conard High School and Wolcott Elementary School. .

“Wolcott is no longer a polling place, and all of those voters will be voting at Conard,” Sweeney said. Braeburn is also no longer a polling station, and those who previously voted there have been reassigned to various other locations depending on their address.

Bugbee Elementary School was added as a new polling place for much of the city.

The new districts are shown on the map below, and the following is a list of polling places by district.

Map of West Hartford electoral districts. City of West Hartford website

The Secretary of State’s “Look Up” site also provides voter registration and polling station information.

What about postal voting?

Absentee ballot applications are available and once completed can be dropped off at the voter drop boxes that have been placed at the main entrance of City Hall and the Faxon Branch Library. They can also be mailed to the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall, 50 South Main Street, Room 313, West Hartford, CT 06107. All applications must contain the applicant’s original signature.

Click here to get an application.

Mail-in ballots are now available and can also be returned to drop boxes or by mail. Ballots must reach City Hall no later than 8:00 p.m. on election day.

Answers to many questions regarding absentee ballots can be found on the Clerk’s webpage or can be sent to [email protected]

Reasons for voting by mail include being unable to show up at your polling station due to active military service, as well as being out of town on election day, illness (the definition of “illness” has expanded by the legislature this year), religious activities that prohibit secular activities on the date of the election, duties as an election official at a polling place other than the one assigned to you, and a physical disability.

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