Michelle Obama cast her ballot on Monday, an early vote promoted by the Obama campaign as a shout out to their peeps to vote early and often. Illinois, where MO sent her absentee ballot, is among about two dozen states allowing early voting and no-excuse absentee voting. Connecticut is among more than a dozen states dictating no early voting with an excuse required for absentee. What gives?
Technically, you can vote early in Connecticut, but only if you show up at your local town clerk’s office, fill out an absentee ballot application and then the actual absentee ballot. The Bridgeport political pros who know how to work absentee ballot votes–particularly senior citizens–get a jump start loading votes in the bank. Gives them a nice advantage. Why not just allow everyone to vote early, as most states now do?
Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill is trying to move the needle on early voting. Connecticut’s constitution limits absentee ballots to voters who will be out of state, disabled or unable to go to the polls on Election Day because of religion. State voters could approve early voting in a 2014 ballot question.
“In states around the country, voters can already vote early in person or by mail,” said First Lady Michelle Obama in a statement released by the Obama campaign. “It means you don’t have to worry about your schedule filling up, or getting sick, or having to work late on Election Day. And more than anything, it means you can act right now to move our country forward.”
Makes sense. Open up early voting, something the Obama campaign is working in states that allow it. But if Barack isn’t in top form for his second debate Tuesday night (tonight) against Mitt Romney, it could be sayonara.