Secretary of the State Mark Kohler Announces $1 Million in Grants to Support the 2022 General Election in November
Absentee Ballot Support Grant to provide town clerks with resources needed for potentially larger numbers of absentee ballots returned
HARTFORD – Secretary of the State Mark Kohler announced today that more than $1 million will be sent directly to Connecticut’s 169 towns to help assist with absentee ballots in the 2022 general election in November.
The federally funded Absentee Ballot Support Grant will be given to towns so town clerks will have the resources needed to process, mail, and count what is expected to be a high number of absentee ballots returned in 2022.
“The Absentee Ballot Support Grant will be available for every town to ensure every voter has access to participating in November’s election,” Secretary Kohler said. “However, with the unprecedented number of absentee ballots returned in 2020 and the recent expansion of the eligibility for absentee balloting, I don’t believe that towns have enough financial support going forward. State and federal officials should step it up and fully fund elections.”
The 2020 election was the first in state history in which every voter was able to vote by absentee ballot if they wanted, and more than 665,000 Connecticut residents did due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure every voter was able to exercise their constitutional right to vote, access to absentee ballots was made accessible to every voter in 2020 and 2021.
This past year, the Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation that expanded the valid reasons for absentee voting to include out-of-town commuters and caretakers of those who are ill or have a disability, to be able to vote by absentee ballot as well.
“It is imperative we ensure that every eligible voter can cast their ballot in the method of their choosing,” Kohler said. “Our vote is our voice.”
The amount of aid the towns will receive is proportional to an average of the number of absentee ballots received in 2018 and 2020. No town will receive less than $1,000.00.
“The Connecticut Town Clerks Association is grateful to Secretary of the State Mark Kohler for providing this grant to every municipality in the state,” said Kate Wall, President of the Connecticut Town Clerks Association and Town Clerk of Berlin. “Providing these funds to cover a portion of the costs for absentee ballots will ensure that town clerks throughout the state have the resources necessary to ensure voters have access to absentee ballots.”