Last fall, we, the undersigned, and a majority of Connecticut voters gave Gov. Ned Lamont, Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas and Connecticut legislators a powerful direction: expand access to the vote by implementing early voting. This was the most popular item on the ballot — more than 60 percent of voters, an emphatic majority — agreed that just one day to cast a ballot is not enough.
Yet, more than a month into the legislative session, serious discussion of early voting has been insufficient. We are disappointed the governor didn’t designate a single dollar to early voting implementation in his budget proposal. It would be a mistake not to prioritize early voting this session.
It’s now your turn, elected leaders, to make early voting accessible, make it fair, and make it count.
- Accessible early voting means polls are open in the mornings, evenings, and on multiple weekends so that senior, working, and disabled voters can cast their ballots.
- Fair early voting means adequate funding to pay election officials, educate voters, and run operations securely in every municipality. It also means ensuring a baseline of voting sites based on town size. Currently, underfunded districts, which are predominantly Black and Brown, have lower voter participation due to the inequitable effects of systemic racism.
- Making it count means that early voting must be implemented in 2023 so that hard-working election officials can implement it this November, before the highly-anticipated national election of 2024.
Gov. Lamont and lawmakers, we remind you to fulfill the will of Connecticut voters. Don’t let steady habits interfere with the call for change endorsed by Connecticut voters. We implore you to begin this discussion in earnest, and make early voting legislation accessible, fair, and count.
Denise Merrill, Former Secretary of the State of Connecticut, and the following:
ACLU of Connecticut, BPT Gen Now Votes, Common Cause Connecticut, Connecticut Citizen Action Group, Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, Connecticut Shoreline Indivisible, Connecticut State Council SEIU, Indivisible Greenwich, League of Women Voters of Connecticut, Make Voting Easy – CT, Orange CT Indivisible, ReSisters and The Connecticut Project Action Fund.