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Lamont signs early voting legislation into law

Connecticut State Capitol
Molly Ingram
Connecticut State Capitol

Connecticut voters will be able to submit their ballots early next year as Governor Ned Lamont has signed the law to legalize early voting.

More than 60% of voters supported changing the state constitution to allow early voting when it was on the ballot in 2022. Voters did not support the measure when it was put to a referendum in 2014.

The effort required a vote in the 2021 Legislature, a ballot referendum in 2022, a vote in the 2022 Legislature and an amendment to the state constitution.

The legislation requires two weeks of early voting for general elections, one week for most primaries, and four days for special elections and presidential primaries.

“I think it's the glue that holds our society together, knowing that each and every one of you can make a difference with your vote,” Lamont said. “And if we can make it just a little bit easier to be able to vote with integrity, it makes a difference.”

Lamont addressed concerns from municipal leaders that there was not enough funding in the budget to support early voting in the state's biggest cities. The law helps fund one early voting site per municipality — which likely won't be enough in cities like Bridgeport and Hartford.

“We are partners with our municipalities, you know, they do have an unprecedented amount of aid there,” Lamont said. “But we're gonna do our part as well.”

The state was one of the last in the country to legalize early voting.

“We're a progressive state,” Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz said. “But I gotta say, we were behind the curve.”

The law takes effect in 2024.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.