Guide to Election Day in Connecticut: what races to watch and when we will know the results


The 2022 midterm elections kick off in Connecticut on Tuesday morning, with polls open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. around the state. To find your voting location, all you have to do is look up your registration on the Secretary of State’s website , and remember, if you’re not registered to vote, you can still cast a ballot through same-day registration at specific locations in your city or town.

Already, tens of thousands of voters have already cast absentee ballots for nearly a dozen important offices, as well as a referendum to decide whether Connecticut should allow early voting in future elections.

Who’s on the ballot?

As it does every midterm election, Connecticut will be one of 36 states deciding who will be its next governor in 2022. That race pits the incumbent, Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, against his rival from the last election, Republican Bob Stefanowski and Independent Rob Hotaling.

Elsewhere on their ballots, voters will also select their representatives in Congress and in the state House and Senate. Every member of the state’s Congressional delegation — all Democrats — is seeking re-election this year, led by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who is up against Republican Leora Levy in his bid for a third term .

In the statewide races, both Lt. Gov Susan Bsyiewicz and Attorney General William Tong are seeking re-election this year against Republican opposition, while retirements have created open races for the offices of treasurer, comptroller and secretary of the state. In some towns, voters will also be asked to choose candidates for probate judge and registrar of voters.

For a more complete breakdown of the federal and state offices that are on the ballot, you can check out our handy Voter Guide to the 2022 Election , as well as the Secretary of the State’s website to find your town’s sample ballot complete with other local races.

Which races are competitive?

While every race matters, a couple of the matchups in Connecticut have garnered outsized attention for the amount of money spent and the perceived competitiveness between the candidates.

The best example is in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District, where Democratic Congresswoman Jahana Hayes’ campaign against former state Sen. George Logan is seen as a likely bellwether in the fight for control of Congress. That race is one of 35 considered a “tossup” by Cook Political Report, with Democrats currently holding an eight-seat majority in the House. In eastern Connecticut, Congressman Joe Courtney’s bid for re-election against state Rep. Mike France is also seen as competitive, though like the rest of the state’s delegation not named Hayes, he is favored to win.

In the governor’s race, both Lamont and Stefanowski have poured millions of dollars of their own money into making the campaign the most expensive in the state’s history . Despite all the money and advertising, however, Lamont has maintained a steady double-digit lead in most public polls, while Stefanowski insists that his own polling shows a tighter race.

One thing to watch for as the results come in Tuesday night is how Stefanowski and Lamont compare to their compatriots in the U.S. Senate race.

While few people anticipate that Levy will be able to topple Blumenthal after tying herself closely to President Donald Trump — who was soundly defeated twice in Connecticut — Stefanowski has sought to woo independent voters by focusing on the economy and taking more moderate stances on social issues such as abortion. Despite those efforts, polling has shown Stefanowski running roughly even with Levy. In order to have a chance at victory, he’ll likely have to run well ahead of Levy and other conservative Republicans.

At the state legislative level, there’s little thought that Democrats’ control of the House and Senate is in serious jeopardy. However, there is still much at stake if either party picks or loses seats, and you can read about the most competitive matchups on CT Insider’s Ken Dixon.

When will we know the winners?

Shortly after the polls close at 8 p.m., results from around the state will begin to appear on the Secretary of the State’s election reporting system . The Associated Press will also be tracking the returns and calling races using their sophisticated reporting process , which will be available all night through CT Insider.

While the hope is always for a speedy and smooth accounting of the votes, in practice it does not always work that way.

Four years ago, in 2018, the results in some pivotal Connecticut cities were delayed by wet ballots that had gotten caught in the rain. Two years later, a surge in absentee and mail-in voting during the COVID-19 pandemic caused counting in some states to drag on for days.

How long it takes to determine winners in Connecticut will likely depend on the number of absentee ballots that workers have to count, the closeness of the races and whether any other hiccups get in the way (the forecast for Tuesday night is for clear skies).

According to the Secretary of the State’s office, 123,223 absentee ballots have been completed and returned as of Monday morning, less than one-fifth the number that workers had to count that 2020 but still more than before the pandemic. There are still about 37,064 outstanding ballots that have yet to be returned.

Election workers can begin counting those ballots as soon as 10 a.m. on Tuesday, though a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s offices said that many wait until the polls close in case voters decide at the last minute to show up and vote in-person.

What kind of ballots end up getting reported first could also skew perceptions of who’s winning early on. For example, data from the Secretary of the State’s office shows that more Democrats have voted absentee, but if those votes are not reported until later it wrongly could appear as if the party is on track for big losses. Notoriously slow returns in some cities — where Democrats tend to drive up the margins — can also factor into the time it takes to determine a winner.

For all these reasons and more, it’s important to be cautious when trying to decipher incomplete results. To help, CT Insider will have reporters stationed all over the state speaking with voters, analyzing the results and watching candidates’ watch parties to gather up-to-date and accurate information throughout the night.

In preparation for potential delays, the Secretary of the State’s office last week began advising people to “please be patient ,” in the event that it takes more than one night to count the votes.

It will not be until Nov. 30 that the final results and winners will be formally certified by the during a meeting of the secretary of the state, treasurer and comptroller.