Voting brings us together as Americans. But it isn’t always easy to make it to the polls on the one day we hold elections – Tuesday is a work day, and voting in-person can be challenging with commutes, rushing to child care, after school sports, and more. It is not surprising that election officials are often overwhelmed at peak times and the lines to vote may be very long.
Early voting would encourage more voters to participate and supports our democracy.
There are four specific pro-voter reforms pending right now (click links for text of the bills):
- HJ5 Resolution Proposing an Amendment to the State Constitution to Allow Early Voting
- HJ13 Resolution Proposing an Amendment to the State Constitution to Permit Early Voting
- HJ34 Resolution Proposing an Amendment to the State Constitution Permitting Early Voting and Voting By Mail
- HJ5 Resolution Proposing a State Constitutional Amendment to Permit Early and Regional Voting
Until the recent Supreme Court ruling that overturned parts of the Voting Rights Act, 32 states had laws that let citizens vote in person before Election Day. North Carolina and Florida took back the ability of citizens, primarily African Americans and Latinos, to vote on their own time, including weekends avoiding long lines. This is the wrong direction – away from participation in our democracy. We are pleased that Connecticut is moving in a direction that encourages voters and supports our democracy.
Although voting rights are being curtailed around the country, it is great to report that instead of making it harder for citizens to vote Connecticut lawmakers have worked with Secretary of the State and advocates including Common Cause in Connecticut to modernize Connecticut election rules. Election Day Registration was passed in 2011 and a resolution was passed in 2013 that could pave the way for Connecticut lawmakers to pass early voting, no excuse absentee ballots and help insure that there are no three-hour waits at the polls!