On January 31st, 2023 lawmakers from the Connecticut General Assembly and civil rights, labor, grassroots, and faith-based organizations together called for the passage of the Connecticut Voting Rights Act (CTVRA). By enacting this landmark legislation, Connecticut would join California, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and New York as states with their own voting rights acts to bolster protections against discriminatory barriers that would infringe upon the ability to exercise the fundamental right to vote.
Over 50 organizations, including the ACLU of Connecticut, the Legal Defense Fund, Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause in Connecticut, Connecticut NAACP State Conference, Hispanic Federation, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and the League of Women Voters of Connecticut, sent a letter to Connecticut’s legislative leadership and Governor Ned Lamont encouraging them to prioritize and pass the CTVRA this session.
Speakers: State Senator Mae Flexer, (D) 29th District; State Representative Geraldo Reyes Jr., (D) 75th District; State Representative Corey P. Paris, (D) 145th District
Testimony Supporting Senate Bill 1226, An Act Concerning State Voting Rights in Recognition of John R. Lewis
March 20, 2023
Dear Senator Flexer, Representative Blumenthal, Ranking Members Sampson and Mastrofrancesco, and esteemed members of the Government Administration and Elections Committee:
My name is [YOUR NAME], I am a voter from [YOUR TOWN NAME]. Connecticut needs our own state-level Voting Rights Act because federal courts have drastically weakened the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. As you know, it was enacted to combat a wide range of barriers and burdens that exclude voters of color from the political process. Black and brown people in Connecticut face longstanding and evolving threats to the franchise—and SB 820 An Act Concerning A State Voting Rights Act will provide tools to efficiently root out racial discrimination in voting.
To this day, Black and Brown voters in Connecticut routinely encounter long lines and other obstacles when voting. [ADD YOUR OWN REASONS/STORY FOR WHY OUR STATE MUST ROOT OUT RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN VOTING]
Voters across the country are facing the greatest assaults on voting rights since Jim Crow. The U.S. Supreme Court has turned its back on the federal Voting Rights Act. With too many states moving the wrong direction on voting rights, Connecticut can and should lead the way forward.
The legislature must pass S.B. 1226, the Connecticut Voting Rights Act, to codify state-level protections for voting rights that are under attack nationwide.
[YOUR NAME], [YOUR TOWN]