Expanding the Use of Absentee Ballots

April 13, 2022

Voting is a fundamental right that should be convenient, fair and accessible, but Connecticut's voting laws are needlessly restrictive when it comes to voting by absentee ballot.

To be eligible to cast an absentee ballot, current law requires voters to have a physical disability or illness that prevents them from voting in person or be out of town for at least 14 hours on Election Day.

A bill (HB 5262) recently passed by the legislature makes it easier for voters to vote absentee if they're feeling unwell, worried about their health, or out of town on Election Day.

Voter Rights

Voters should not have to choose between protecting their health or going to work and exercising their right to vote.

“Our democracy simply works better when more people have a say on the future of their towns, state and country,” said Rep. Dan Fox of Stamford, House Chair of the Elections Committee. “Just because someone has to commute in order to bring home a paycheck or spends time caring for a loved one should not prevent them from making their voice heard.

The legislation was approved overwhelmingly in the House 126-16 and by the Senate 30-4. It was recently signed into law by Governor Lamont and takes effect immediately.

Voting is a cornerstone of our democracy, and we should continue to look at ways to encourage, not discourage, participation in our elections.