The Ballot Question For Early Voting

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 and the direct link to the information about the constitutional question can be found here:



  1. Lennie, thank you for posting this.

    Yesterday, a paid Democratic party campaign worker (I asked her) came to our door and asked if my wife (the Democrat) wished to vote by absentee ballot. If so, she was providing the applications. I understand they follow up to make sure you submit your ballot. This is the Democratic party absentee ballot voting machine in action.

    If this constitutional amendment is approved (simple majority), it allows the state legislature to establish new voting laws.

    Given how legislation is made in Connecticut, one must ask if the process can be objective. How much influence will the various special-interest groups have?

    I can picture government employee union rallies including distribution of absentee ballots, given the control unions have of Democrat party elected officials to craft laws to increase their influence.

    Personally, if new guidelines guaranteed political party machines and government employee unions were prevented from influencing (controlling) what would become a large voting bloc, I would vote ‘yes.’ Am I confident this will be done? No.

  2. Tom White, keep trying, here is what the “conservative” US Supreme Court said Friday:

    Associated Press

    A federal judge likened Texas’ strict voter ID requirement to a poll tax deliberately meant to suppress minority voter turnout and struck it down less than a month before Election Day, and mere hours after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a similar Wisconsin measure.

    The twin rulings released Thursday evening represent major and somewhat surprising blows to largely Republican-backed voter identification rules that generally have been upheld in previous rulings nationwide.

  3. Here is more of the report on the ruling Ron did not share:
    A spokeswoman for Attorney General Greg Abbott said the state would immediately file an appeal to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    “The State of Texas will immediately appeal and will urge the Fifth Circuit to resolve this matter quickly to avoid voter confusion in the upcoming election,” Lauren Bean said in an emailed statement. “The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that voter ID laws are constitutional so we are confident the Texas law will be upheld on appeal.”

    The voter ID law, enacted last year, requires most citizens (some, like the disabled, can be exempt) to show one of a handful of allowable photo identification cards before their votes can be counted. Acceptable forms of photo ID include a Texas driver’s license or state ID card that is not more than 60 days expired at the time of voting, a concealed handgun license, a U.S. passport, a military ID card or a U.S citizenship certificate with a photo.

    I doubt Connecticut voting ID requirements could be more lax. I once witnessed a woman vote using nothing but her checkbook as ID.

  4. CT does not require you show any form of identification to vote. If your name and address is on the list, you get to vote. If their is an issue, all a voter has to do is state they want to cast a challenge ballot. They must be allowed to vote. I had recently moved and had not changed my license yet when a poll worker told me my address did not match and asked did I have a utility bill with me. I went ballistic and gave her a quick lesson on CT voting laws. I also contacted the Secretary of State’s hotline to report the incident. For heaven’s sake, a passport has no address on it at all and this woman was making an issue out of my license address not matching my new address.

  5. Try getting on an airplane without ID. Try getting a driver’s license without ID or explaining to the police officer who just pulled you over you haven’t any.
    Try filling out forms for a job without ID. Try going to a hospital without ID.
    Just saying who you are and getting a ballot opens a “Pandora’s Box” for voter fraud. It’s a privilege to vote and IDs are readily available through your government.


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