Voting Rights Advocates Applaud Passage of Historic No-Excuse Absentee Ballot Legislation; Call for Immediate Action on Senate Bill 5

(Hartford, CT) – Today, the Connecticut House voted 104-44 in favor of House Joint Resolution 58 – a historic resolution that will allow for no-excuse absentee ballot voting in Connecticut. The resolution now heads to the Senate for final passage. However, because the vote did not meet the 75% threshold to appear on the ballot in 2022, the legislature will have to pass the resolution by simple majority again next session for it to appear on the ballot in 2024.

In response, Cheri Quickmire, Executive Director of Common Cause in Connecticut released the following statement:

“The landmark no-excuse absentee ballot voting resolution passed today will ultimately make our elections more streamlined, accessible and equitable. Unfortunately, politics got in the way of ensuring the 75% support needed to put this referendum on the ballot in 2022, meaning voters will have to wait until at least 2024 to regain the rights they enjoyed mere months ago when the legislature temporarily allowed all voters to vote absentee during the pandemic.

Lawmakers still have an opportunity to make this a historic session for voting rights by voting in favor of Senate Bill 5 – a bill that will restore voting rights for residents on parole and finally codify automatic voter registration into law. We’re confident they can get it done.”

Tom Swan, Executive Director of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group added:

“It’s truly remarkable that in less than a week, the House of Representatives passed resolutions to allow both early voting and no-excuse absentee ballot voting in Connecticut – issues that advocates have been fighting in favor of for years. While we’re disappointed that the measure won’t appear on the ballot in time for voters to decide on in 2022, we’re hopeful that legislators will keep this momentum going and continue to prioritize voting rights this session.”

Connecticut is currently one of 16 states that doesn’t allow all voters to vote absentee, and one of only 7 states across the country that doesn’t allow early in-person voting. Automatic voter registration (AVR) has already been implemented in 23 states across the country. These issues are overwhelmingly popular across party lines, with recent polling showing that 79% of voters support early voting, 73% are in support of no-excuse absentee ballot voting, and 77% are in support of AVR.