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Secretary of the State Merrill, State Senator pushing for early voting and expanding access to absentee ballots in CT

Connecticut, along with five other states, requires in-person voting on Election Day unless the voter has a statutorily defined excuse.

HAMDEN, Conn. — Secretary of the State Denise Merrill proposed a constitutional amendment to expand absentee ballots and early voting in CT back in 2020. On Wednesday, she and Senator Jorge Cabrera (D-Hamden) met in Hamden to support these changes to the State Constitution. 

“Connecticut voters deserve to be able to choose to vote conveniently in-person on Election Day, in-person prior to Election Day, or by absentee ballot without needing to provide an excuse – just like almost every other voter in the country,” said Secretary Merrill. 

Merrill added, "As other states move to erect obstacles to voters exercising their right to vote, I’m proud that Connecticut is moving to eliminate barriers and ensure that every voter can conveniently cast their ballot and make their voice heard.”

The amendments would allow early voting in state elections and expand access to absentee ballots to every state voter without them needing to provide an excuse. The amendments would remove restrictions for CT's Constitution explained the Secretary of the State's office. 

There is already an amendment to allow early voting that passed the legislature in 2019. If it passes again, it would be on the ballot for voters in 2022.  

The amendment that would expand access to the absentee ballot has not been voted on yet. If it passes both the House and Senate with a 75% supermajority, it would be on the ballot for voters in 2022.  If it passes by a simple majority it would be voted on again in 2022, and if it passes again would be on the 2024 ballot for voters. 

"Today we stand up in support of new laws that make it easier for Connecticut voters to cast their ballots," said Sen. Cabrera. "Early voting, no-excuse absentee ballot voting, drop boxes, making it easier to register to vote – all these measures make our government stronger and help busy residents have a voice in who represents them in the legislature. It is in the best interest of Connecticut residents and our democracy that we do all we can to make voting easier." 

Recently, Gov. Lamont signed an executive order on Tuesday allowing absentee voting to continue in elections, primary, or referendum before May. 

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, along with South Carolina, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Missouri requires in-person voting on Election Day unless the voter has a statutorily defined excuse.

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