Early Voting Bill Passes House

May 23, 2017

i applauds the House passage of a bill I championed that will allow residents to cast their vote prior to Election Day.

“Voting is the very core of our democracy, every resident should have the opportunity to vote if they wish to do so,” Rep. Fox, Chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, said. “Currently, the Connecticut State Constitution requires voters to appear in person on Election Day, but the day falls on a Tuesday and some voters cannot get to the polls because of work or family obligations. This bill allows voters flexibility to cast their vote and ensures that every resident who wants to vote has time to do so.”

The bill, A Resolution Proposing a State Constitutional Amendment to Permit Early Voting, proposes a constitutional amendment to:

(1)  eliminate the requirement that electors gather on election day to vote for state officers and state legislators;

(2)   authorize the General Assembly to provide by law for up to two but not more than five days of early voting to take place within two weeks prior to Election Day.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 37 states and the District of Columbia permitted any qualified voter to cast a ballot during a designated period before Election Day.

“It’s time that Connecticut continues to encourage voting and increased civic engagement and make it easier, not harder, for residents to cast their vote,” Rep. Fox said. “It’s also worth noting that early voting alleviates long lines at polling places, making it easier for residents to vote.”

The bill passed the House in a 78 to 70 vote and will now be heard before the Senate.

***If the resolution passes by at least three- fourths of the membership of each house of the General Assembly, it will be placed on the 2018 general election ballot. If it passes by a majority of the membership of each house but less than three-fourths, it will be referred to the 2019 session of the legislature. If it passes in that session by a majority of each house, it will appear on the 2020 general election ballot. If a majority of those voting in the general election approves the amendment, it will become part of the state constitution.***