In a final vote of 27-9, the Connecticut State Senate passed House Joint Resolution 58 on Thursday evening, which would allow no-excuse absentee voting in the state.
Due to not having enough votes, the legislature will vote again on the question after the 2022 election. If it passes again, it will be on the 2024 ballot.
If voters pass the amendment, it will lift the restrictions for residents to vote in absentee. Currently, there are five requirements for one to vote in absentee in Connecticut.
1.Out of town all day on Election Day
2. Sick or have a physical disability and cannot make it in-person to the polls
3. Religion forbids you from any secular activity on Election Day
4. On active duty in the Armed Forces; or
5. An election official whose duties will keep you from voting on Election Day.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill Praised the passing of the House Joint Resolution, releasing a statement that read in part:
"As Florida, Texas, and other states across the country roll back voting rights and make it harder for their citizens to vote, Connecticut is doing the opposite. The constitutional amendment allowing universal access to absentee ballots, combined with the amendment allowing Early Voting that voters will vote on in 2022, are among the largest expansions in the ability of Connecticut voters to cast their ballots in our state’s history.
“For too long Connecticut has tacitly accepted unnecessary obstacles to voting in the Land of Steady Habits. When other states made voting more convenient through Early Voting and universal access to absentee ballots without an excuse, Connecticut has stayed the course, resulting 21st century voters casting their ballots in an 19th century system."
Recently, the State Senate passed House Joint Resolution 59, which would put a constitutional amendment to allow early in-person voting on the 2022 General Election ballot for Connecticut voters to decide to add it to the state Constitution.
The amendment passed the House of Representatives on May 6 and was approved in 2019 by a majority in both chambers of the Connecticut General Assembly.
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