Connecticut is among a handful of states that require excuse-only early voting via absentee ballots. Most states allow some form of unrestricted early voting. In an editorial that appears in the Hartford Courant, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz and former Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill make the case to vote yes to a question on the November ballot.
“Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to permit the General Assembly to provide for early voting?”
This is the question that will be posed to all Connecticut voters on their ballot this year.
When voting is convenient, voter participation goes up. Our democracy is strongest when everyone’s voice is heard. That is why we are encouraging all Connecticut residents to vote “yes” on the ballot measure.
The 2020 presidential election set the record for the highest voter turnout in 120 years, with approximately 160 million Americans casting their ballots. According to the Pew Research Center, a whopping 46% of those voted by absentee or mail-in ballot, another record.
Almost 80% of registered Connecticut voters, a record 1.86 million, cast their ballot in the 2020 election.
The data does not lie–when people are able to vote in a way that is convenient for them, at a time that is convenient for them, more vote.
While voting on Election Day may be easy for some, many face barriers that make it difficult or impossible to vote. Whether it’s not being able to take time off from work, juggling caring for children or elderly parents or having a disability–regardless of the reason–it leaves potential voters disenfranchised.
Other states have realized this. That’s why 46 states have early voting. Connecticut is one of only four states that do not permit early voting.
It’s far past time that Connecticut joins red states and blue states alike in allowing early voting. It’s why Republicans and Democrats in the General Assembly voted to put early voting on the ballot.
On Election Day, we urge all Connecticut registered voters to vote “yes” on the constitutional amendment to allow for early voting in our state. Its passage will allow more registered voters to cast their ballot, and provide the opportunity for everyone who wants to make their voice heard, no matter what party, to vote at a time that works for them.
Let’s join the overwhelming majority of states and allow for early voting here in Connecticut.