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What else is on the ballot? Connecticut and Long Island’s ballot measures

BAllotMeasuresWeb.png
Josh Joseph
/
WSHU

This article was updated on Oct. 31 to reflect an additional ballot measure in Suffolk County, N.Y.

Residents of Connecticut and New York will vote on Tuesday, Nov. 8 for candidates for federal, state and local office — but there’s more on the ballot than that. Ballot measures give voters the opportunity to directly influence legislation and changes in their government on issues like environmental protection, voting rights and affordable housing.

Find out about which measures you’ll see on Election Day below.

Connecticut

Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to permit the General Assembly to provide for early voting?

Connecticut’s single statewide ballot measure would amend the state’s constitution to allow for in-person and mail-in early voting. Proponents say the initiative would make voting more accessible for working residents with tighter schedules, encouraging higher turnout.

Connecticut is among only four states — including New Hampshire, Alabama and Mississippi — that prohibit early voting. This measure comes 8 years after the last attempt to amend the state constitution to allow early voting via referendum failed in 2014.

Around the Nutmeg State

Fourteen towns and cities are putting changes to their charters on ballots. Andover, Berlin, Cromwell, Madison and Manchester are altering requirements and term limits for certain public officials. Other towns, including Newtown and Southington, are including administrative changes to their charters, like the removal or alteration of certain offices. Most of these towns have also put assorted minor corrections — like clarification of language or previously announced changes — into broader ballot measures, asking voters to simply approve all updates to their charters.

Fifteen towns and cities are proposing investment projects funded through the issuance of bonds and notes. Cheshire, Coventry, Derby, East Hartford, South Windsor and Watertown are seeking funding for the improvement of roadways. Cheshire is also looking to invest in school renovations, along with Montville, Norwich, Southington, Watertown and Wethersfield. Additional projects include East Windsor’s Scout Hall Youth Center, Enfield’s Public Safety Complex and Glastonbury’s land acquisition program.

A year after the statewide legalization of recreational marijuana, creating an infrastructure for retail sale has been slow. In a move that could help pave the way for dispensaries to open, the towns of Ledyard, Litchfield and Waterbury have all asked voters to approve the sale of marijuana on their ballots. Waterbury has also included a measure about the production of marijuana.

To see a sample ballot for your town, visit the Secretary of the State’s website.

New York

"To address and combat the impact of climate change and damage to the environment, the "Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022" authorizes the sale of state bonds up to four billion two hundred million dollars to fund environmental protection, natural restoration, resiliency, and clean energy projects. Shall the Environmental Bond Act of 2022 be approved?"

New York’s statewide ballot measure is the Environmental Bond Act, which would allocate $4.2 billion in borrowing for climate change mitigation and resource preservation projects across the state.

It includes money for pollution reduction, flood and coast protection, land conservation and water infrastructure improvements. The measure requires at least 35% of its aid to benefit economically and environmentally disadvantaged communities.

It was initially proposed in 2020, but it was withdrawn from the ballot due to pandemic-related financial strain.

Long Island

On Long Island, local ballot measures are less common this year. Suffolk County residents will have a chance to set term limits for the county executive, comptroller and legislators at 12 years total as part of a law signed by County Executive Steve Bellone in June.

Four of the island’s five East End towns — East Hampton, Shelter Island, Southampton and Southold — are including a measure that would create an affordable housing fund through a 0.5% tax on home purchases.

The Peconic Bay Region Community Housing Act, which was passed in New York last year, enables the creation of the fund, if the referendum passes. It aims to support residents of all ages, including first-time home buyers, essential workers and seniors. The Riverhead Town Board opted not to include the measure on its ballots.

The region created a similar 2% real estate transfer tax to fund the preservation of open space, historic buildings and water quality over 20 years ago. The Community Preservation Fund has raised over $1 billion with most of the revenue generated by home sales in the Hamptons.

Josh is a freelance reporter working with WSHU to produce explanatory journalism. He also designed graphics for WSHU's Higher Ground podcast. You can find his work at The Stony Brook Press, where he served as executive editor.