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Bethel Town Clerk clarifies little used election law information

The Secretary of the State issued a tweet saying that people who are quarantined can call the town clerk for an emergency absentee ballot that can be hand delivered to you on election day. 

Bethel Town Clerk Lisa Bergh says Denise Merrill needs to clarify the statement because that's not exactly the case. The Town Clerk explained on Facebook what an emergency ballot is and how to obtain one. 

A person who has an unforeseen illness or finds themselves hospitalized within 6 days of an election may request an “Emergency Absentee Ballot”. This involves choosing a “designee” to come to the Town Clerk's office to pickup an Application, appoint this “designee”and sign the application. The “designee” brings that back to the Town Clerk, who may issue an Absentee Ballot.  The “designee” brings the ballot to the sick person to vote and then the “designee” returns that ballot.

Meanwhile, a robo call went out last night by the Bethel Republican Town Committee informing voters that they can withdraw their Absentee Ballot, if they've changed their mind on the candidates, by going to the Town Clerks office by 5 PM Friday. The Bethel Municipal Center remains closed to the public and appointments must be made for any business taking place. The normal business hours on Fridays are 8AM to noon. 

By this morning, the Bethel Town Clerk was awaiting procedure information from the Secretary of the State.

The little used law does allow anyone to withdraw their absentee ballot by 5pm on the Friday before the election, and then vote in person the following Tuesday.

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Rich Valdes

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