The Connecticut General Assembly has the opportunity to propose to voters in 2022 two proposed constitutional changes that would make voting easier in the state. Opinion polls show that Connecticut citizens want more options than the same-day state and the restrictive absence rules now offer.
There is no good reason why lawmakers should deny voters the opportunity to make this decision as soon as possible.
Connecticut has one of the most restrictive voting rules in the country. The state constitution allows personal voting only on election day. And absentee ballots can normally only be used when a person is sick, disabled or out of town on election day.
Before the landmark 2020 elections, held during a pandemic, the legislature voted to temporarily extend the definition of "disease" to include fear of getting sick, for example through exposure to COVID-19. Connecticut voters responded with nearly 660,000 votes in absence, 35% of the total vote and 10 times the typical number of votes cast in absence.
Connecticut shouldn't back down and make it harder to vote again after the health crisis has eased.
Two amendments are pending.
The first would ask, "Will the state constitution be amended to allow the General Assembly to provide for early voting?"
This question almost certainly appears to be on the ballot in 2022. It was approved by the House and Senate in 2019, but due to Republican resistance in the Senate, it did not receive the 75% approval needed to take it to the vote immediately 2020. . However, if passed again this year, which seems certain given the large democratic majorities in the House and Senate, it will be on the ballot in 2022.
Criticism of the early vote amendment is that it lacks details such as how early voting would start. Such details would later be determined by the legislature, if the amendment is approved. This is how it should be. It would be a mistake to clutter the constitution with chapter and verse on how the early vote would work, and would require a later amendment to make minor shifts, such as an adjustment by a day or two when the vote starts.
A second provision would amend the state constitution to allow for absenteeism votes without excuse. In other words, if you wanted to use an absentee ballot, you could do so without having to provide an explanation.
Both Democrats and Republicans should support this provision, leading to the 75% threshold needed to get this question on the ballot in 2022, in addition to the early vote question. This only makes sense. Otherwise, the absence question would have to wait at least until 2024.
Secretary of State Denise Merrill and state-wide voting officials proved in November that extended absence votes can be taken without compromising the integrity of the process. This shouldn't be shocking given that Utah, Colorado and Oregon hold their elections almost entirely by mail.
Connecticut's restrictive voting rules make us an outlier, with 43 states now allowing early votes and / or absentee ballots without excuse.
Making voting easier will make voting fairer. Voters who have to juggle multiple jobs, rely on bus rides, have kids to commute, or who are elderly and struggling to get out are all disadvantaged by the existing restrictions. Provide more chances to vote and more people will vote, which should be celebrated.
Cynically, Republican state lawmakers across the country, following the defeat of former President Donald Trump and loss of control of the U.S. Senate, have introduced legislative proposals to make voting more difficult. GOP lawmakers in at least 33 states have filed more than 100 bills to tighten voting rules, according to a recent report by the Brennan Center for Justice from New York University School of Law.
In Georgia, for example, Republicans want to dismantle the voting policy that contributed to a record turnout in 2020. A record turnout means the policy has worked! Why withdraw them?
Apparently because Joe Biden won Georgia and Democrats Rafael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won the Senate seats. Now, instead of evaluating how to get more support – especially in the black community – set Republican lawmakers instead – fewer people want to vote, especially black people.
Republican lawmakers in the state of Peach have passed legislation to ban dropboxes, end automatic voter registration and Sunday voting, and revoke ballots without excuse, among other proposed changes.
Republicans in Connecticut should send a different message and join Democrats in dismantling the roadblocks on the vote, and then go out and compete for those votes.
The Editorial Board of the Day meets regularly with leaders from politics, business and the community and meets weekly to formulate editorial views. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, Editor-in-Chief Izaskun E. Larrañeta, Staff Writer Julia Bergman, and Retired Deputy Editor Lisa McGinleyHowever, only the editor and editor of the editorial page are responsible for developing editorial advice. The board operates independently of the editorial board.
. (tagsToTranslate) Vote (t) Joe Biden (t) Donald Trump