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Official Ballot Boxes outside West Hartford Town Hall have sped up the town clerk’s process of accepting absentee ballots, according to Essie Labrot, West Hartford Town Clerk. Voters can drop ballots in the boxes up until 8 p.m. on Election Day. Putting a
Ali Oshinskie / Connecticut Public Radio

As of Friday, the town of West Hartford had received about 2,000 of 10,500 absentee ballots requested for Tuesday’s primary elections.

A ballot drop box outside of Woodbridge Town Hall.
Ali Oshinskie / Connecticut Public Radio

There’s a primary next week. And though absentee balloting has been the talk, the question now is whether the power outages caused by Tropical Storm Isaias will affect in-person voting.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

With a presidential primary just a week away, municipal clerks are feeling the stress of absentee voting amid the pandemic. 

Courtesy: State of Connecticut

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says that absentee ballots are mailed 21 days prior to a primary election. For this year’s Aug. 11 primary, that date was Tuesday, July 21. Now some voters have taken to social media to ask where their ballots are and when they can expect them to arrive.

Christine and Steve Schwartz interview job candidates in a parking lot outside their business, Express Employment Professionals in Shelton. Christine Schwartz says with the extra $600 unemployment benefit running out, more people are looking for work.
Ali Oshinskie / Connecticut Public Radio

The weekly $600 in additional federal unemployment benefits -- a payment more than 20% of Connecticut’s workforce has been relying on -- disappeared as of July 25. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week announced a plan to replace it with a lower payment -- Republicans contend that the $600 per week discourages work.

David LaManna, co-founder of United American Patriots, spoke at the Naugatuck green Tuesday night about the need to support police. He said the Facebook group for the United American Patriots has gained 3,600 followers in two weeks.
Ali Oshinskie / Connecticut Public Radio

A group of fewer than 40 people gathered on the Naugatuck Town Green Tuesday night in a demonstration of support for police. The event was organized by Thomaston businessman David LaManna, who also arranged a rally in Torrington last Saturday that drew a larger crowd.

Renee McFarlin prepares her client, Jacob, for his dredlock retwist. McFarlin completes a thorough cleaning before each new client enters her Ansonia salon, Lisa's Beauty & Barber, and wears a mask throughout the appointment.
Ali Oshinskie / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont recently announced $1.5 million in loans available to women- and minority-owned small businesses in the Lower Naugatuck River Valley. The money comes from a public-private partnership created to address the needs of those more vulnerable businesses as they try to stay afloat in the COVID economy.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Antonio Lopez drives his Mexican Food Truck every morning from Holyoke to Hartford, where he has been selling food for three years on the corner of Putnam and Park streets. But customer traffic has been scarce, and he says a second wave of the coronavirus could put him out of business.

Volunteer Bernie Grant stands in the parking lot of the Naugatuck Senior Center where he meets the people he will be filing taxes for through the free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
Ali Oshinskie / Connecticut Public Radio

The Naugatuck Senior Center closed on March 13 because of the pandemic -- and with it, VITA, or the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Bernie Grant, who’s been the volunteer site coordinator in Naugatuck for 13 years, had hoped the senior center would open back up in short order.