From Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today reminded Connecticut voters that in addition to many candidates on the ballot Election Day November 4, 2014 there will also be a Constitutional question on every ballot in Connecticut. The question states: “Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to remove restrictions concerning absentee ballots and to permit a person to vote without appearing at a polling place on the day of an election?” If ratified by a simple majority of voters, the amendment would remove restrictive language on absentee voting from the state Constitution, permitting state lawmakers to change election laws to enact some form of early voting.
“I want to make sure every voter is aware that there is a constitutional question on the ballot this fall in addition to all the candidates,” said Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s chief elections official. “A ‘YES’ vote on this Constitutional question would not change any laws immediately, but it would permit the General Assembly to loosen our current restrictions on absentee voting and potentially enact some form of early voting, as 35 other states have done. A ‘NO’ vote leaves our Constitution and our election laws as they currently are.”
In order to appear on the ballot this fall, the amendment was passed by a majority of the Connecticut General Assembly in two consecutive legislative sessions (2012 and 2013). As required by state election law, Secretary Merrill has also distributed to all local elections officials language containing the statewide ballot question and an accompanying explanatory text approved by the legislative committee on Government Administration and Elections. By law, the text of the ballot question and the approved explanatory language must be displayed for voters at every polling place in Connecticut on Election Day November 4th.
Currently under the Connecticut Constitution Article Sixth, voting is limited to “the day of the election” but the General Assembly is permitted to make provisions for those voters who cannot appear at their polling place “… because of absence from the city or town of which they are inhabitants or because of sickness or physical disability or because the tenets of their religion forbid secular activity.” If ratified, the amendment would remove that language and it would give the General Assembly greater authority to pass a law allowing voters to cast their ballots without having to (1) appear at their polling place on Election Day or (2) provide a reason for voting by absentee ballot.
A full text of the constitutional amendment and accompanying explanatory language can be found online at www.sots.ct.gov/vote and the direct link to the information about the constitutional question can be found here: