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Lamont signs Connecticut absentee ballot bill

Absentee Ballots
John Froschauer

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has signed a law that allows for the expanded use of absentee ballots.

The law replaced language in a state statute that had placed restrictive rules to qualify for absentee ballots. The slight change aligns state law to what is allowed under the state’s constitution and would permit a lot more people to vote absentee, said Lamont.

“I want people to have a stake in the election and a stake in the outcome. And I do believe that more people would vote. Vote with integrity, vote with safety is the right thing to do,” said Lamont.

It's needed because the pandemic might not yet be over, he said.

“I know we are all done with COVID, but as the saying goes COVID is not done with us. I don't know what the autumn is going to be but it is flu season so I think this is smart and timely to allow people to vote safely,” Lamont said.

The law allows voters to qualify for an absentee ballot based on their concern about a sickness — like coronavirus.

Prior to this, an absentee ballot was available to voters who claimed a specific “illness” that would make it hard to vote in-person.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.