It's an off year for presidential voting, and town offices such as mayor are not at stake.

Yet there is plenty of reason Tuesday, Nov. 4 for Greater New Milforrd-area voters to head to the polls.

Voters will decide on Connecticut's governor, lieutenant governor, congressmen and state elected officials.

Also vote on the ballot in all towns is a referendum question proposing a change to the state constitution that would alter how votes may be cast in the state.

The question reads: "Shall the constitution of the state be amended to remove restrictions concerning absentee ballots and to permit a person to vote without appearing at a polling place on the day of an election?"

A `yes' vote would allow the state legislature to expand early voting in the state. It would allow voters to cast their ballots without having to appear at a polling place or having to provide a reason for voting by absentee ballot.

It would also eliminate constitutional deadlines for election moderators to submit their election returns to the town clerks and Secretary of the State.

It would allow ballots to be submitted by moderators within three to 10 days after an election. Now returns have to be in by midnight on election day.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy supports the amendment, as does Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

"While some states are working to suppress voter turnout," Malloy said, "we are working to encourage greater turnout by increasing penalties on any effort to block voter access and moving our electoral system into the 21st Century."

Bridgewater voters also face the question of whether or not to permit the sale of alcohol in the town.

For New Milford's ballot, see Page S4.

For the ballots of other towns in the Greater New Milford area, visit www.sots.ct.gov/vote.

The candidates

Governor and Lt. Governor: Thomas C. Foley and Heather Somers (R); Dannel P. Malloy and Nancy Wyman (D); Joe Vesconti & Chester Frank Harris (petitioning).

5th District for Congress: Mark Greenberg (R); Elizabeth Esty (D); John J. Pistone (petitioning).

State Senator 30th District: Clark Chapin (R); William O. Riiska (D).

State Senator 32nd District: Robert J. Kane (R); Donato Orsini (D).

State Senator 24th District: Michael A. McLachlan (R); Theodore Feng (Working Families).

State Representative 64th District: Brian Ohler (R); Roberta B. Willis (D).

State Representative 66th District: Craig A. Miner (R); Marjorie O'Neill (D).

State Representative 67th District: Cecilia Buck-Taylor (R); Gale Alexander (D); Cynthia Day (Green Party).

State Representative 69th District: Arthur O'Neill (R).

State Representative 108th district: Richard A. Smith (R).

Secretary of The State: Peter Lumaj (R); Denise W. Merrill (D); S. Michael DeRosa (Green Party).

Attorney General: Kie Westby (R); George Jepsen (D); Stephen E. Fournier (Green Party).

Judge of Probate (Housatonic District): Martin Landgrebe (R).

Judge of Probate (Litchfield Hills District): Evan Brunetti (R); Diane Blick (D).

Judge of Probate (District 22): Domenick N. Calabrese (R).