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CT House passes constitutional amendment for no-excuse absentee voting

The final vote was 104-44 and will now move to the Senate but did not pass the 75% threshold to be put on the 2022 ballot.

HARTFORD, Conn. — The CT House of Representatives passed HJ-58 after some debate Tuesday night on a final vote of 104-44. 

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, who reintroduced the amendment proposal along with another one regarding early voting, praised the vote while expressing her disappointment at Republicans for their limited support. 

“This is an important first step to bringing Connecticut in line with rest of the country by making voting more convenient through universal access to absentee ballots," said Secretary Merill. "This is a common-sense, voter-centric reform that the overwhelming majority of voters, Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated, are in favor of, and it is disappointing that there wasn’t more Republican support to let the voters decide this issue next year. I look forward to this amendment being swiftly taken up and passed by the Senate." 

The resolution would allow residents to vote in absentee without providing an excuse. HJ-58 now moves to the Senate for a vote. 

Since the bill did not reach the 75% threshold in the House to appear on next year's ballot and it will appear on the ballot box at the earliest in 2024 pending on if it passes by a simple majority in the Senate. 

"Make no mistake, this will be decided by the voters at the ballot box in 2024 – it is a shame that most Republicans have chosen to delay the voters’ ability to make their voices heard by two years,” said Secretary Merill 

Voting rights advocates also praised the House passing the resolution saying it will make it easier for CT residents to vote in future elections.  

“It’s truly remarkable that in less than a week, the House of Representatives passed resolutions to allow both early voting and no-excuse absentee ballot voting in Connecticut - issues that advocates have been fighting in favor of for years," said Executive Director of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group Tom Swan. "While we’re disappointed that the measure won’t appear on the ballot in time for voters to decide on in 2022, we’re hopeful that legislators will keep this momentum going and continue to prioritize voting rights this session.” 

There are currently 44 states that allow voters to vote before Election Day either through no-excuse absentee balloting or in-person early voting. Some states even offer both options. 

Connecticut requires in-person voting on Election Day unless the voter has a statutorily defined excuse.




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