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Connecticut Secretary Of The State Pushes For Permanent Early And Absentee Voting

Absentee Ballots
John Froschauer

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill wants lawmakers to support constitutional amendments that would allow for early voting and no-excuse absentee ballots.

Merrill testified before the Government Administration and Elections Committee. She told lawmakers the pandemic has shown that Connecticut voters need early voting and no-excuse absentee ballots just like voters in 43 other states.

“Early voting and expanded access to absentee ballots without an excuse are common sense, voter centric reforms that have wide support across the country,” Merrill said.

Merrill said polls show 79% of Connecticut voters support early voting and 73% support no-excuse absentee ballots.

The early voting amendment passed the General Assembly in 2019. It now needs to pass again this year by a simple majority to make it onto the ballot in 2022. The no-excuse absentee ballot amendment is being voted on for the first time. It needs to pass by a 75% supermajority to make the ballot next year.

Some Republicans said they are concerned about voter fraud and won’t support the amendments.

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.