The pandemic could have a catastrophic effect on voting in the November election.
It was heartening to read that Gov. Ned Lamont appreciates that voting by mail makes sense and that he is considering an executive order
. Voters should not have to choose between their health and exercising their right to vote. It is also right that the governor wants to ensure that the initiative is properly drafted. It must not inadvertently disenfranchise voters.
Necessary steps must include:
1. Allowing for no-excuse absentee voting, and/or allowing a general concern about illness, including fear of COVID-19, be a legitimate excuse to vote by mail
2. Paying for postage: data shows that postage-free ballots result in more votes cast.
3. Election ballot cut-off must be the postmark date, and NOT the receipt date.
4. Signature matching must be liberally construed and/or voters must be timely notified if a ballot is rejected because of signature mismatch.
Elected officials have a patriotic duty to foster voting. Connecticut should join the several other states in allowing and encouraging voting by mail. Voting is not a liberal agenda; it is an American right.
Laura Copland lives in the Ivoryton section of Essex.