Letter to the Editor


I am writing in support of voting YES on the following referendum question on the ballot in Connecticut on November 8, 2022: “Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to permit the General Assembly to provide for early voting?”

Without amending the Constitution, voters who want to vote in person will continue to be restricted to voting on Election Day only. Voting YES results in giving the General Assembly the ability to pass legislation on voting in person on days prior to Election Day. Voting YES does not implement, or specify any parameters for, early in-person voting. Voting YES still provides an opportunity for the public to express its views on any early voting legislation considered by the General Assembly.

It is time for Connecticut to catch up to the 21st century, and leave behind its place as 1 of 4 States that does not permit voting in person on the days leading up to an election.

The National Conference of State Legislatures reported in August 2022, that 46 States and the District of Columbia offer in-person early voting (includes States with all-mail elections).

A Polling Memo (accompanying a January 2021 press release) by the CT Secretary of the State highlighted a then recent poll of over 800 CT registered voters, which “found widespread support [79%] for allowing voters to choose to vote in-person early, prior to Election Day.” This support was “consistent across gender … , race … , and age … ” and regardless of political affiliation.

Connecticut has taken important steps to promote the right to vote through Election-Day registration, online registration and automatic registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles, but it has lagged seriously behind most of the rest of the country on permitting early voting.

A September 2022 press release from the CT Secretary of the State noted that “[r]ecently released studies show Connecticut ranks 30th in the country when it comes to the ease of voting and is solidifying itself as one of the ‘Most Restrictive States’ in the nation.”

It is time for the General Assembly to commence discussions on giving voters as much flexibility as possible to cast their votes. To continue to require voters to appear in person during prescribed hours on one day leaves no room for uncontrollable circumstances such as inclement weather and illness, and disenfranchises those who must work or cannot arrange for childcare or bring their children with them to the polls. Every effort should be made by our legislators to eliminate barriers to voting and to increase civic engagement.

Abraham Lincoln said that “Elections belong to the people.” Please support the early voting referendum on the ballot by voting YES, the first step in enabling the General Assembly to give voters the opportunity to decide whether early in-person voting is critical to voters’ belief in representative democracy.

— Denise Harvey

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