Legislative committee approves ‘early voting’ and sets table for constitutional amendment

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The Government Administration and Elections Committee today approved a bill that would let the Legislature enact some form of early voting in the state. It passed 8-4 in the Government Administration & Elections Committee and heads to the floor of the House. If approved by the House and Senate – like they did last year – it would appear as a question on the statewide ballot in the 2014 election. It would end restrictions on absentee ballot voting and let the General Assembly create an early voting policy, including possible “in-person early voting,” mail-in balloting; or “no-excuse” absentee ballots available to any voter.

“Today I praise the members of the GAE committee for taking an important step to bring Connecticut closer to early voting,” said Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, who is the state’s chief elections official.  “It is long past time for Connecticut to take the steps that more than 30 other states have done to give our busy voters more convenient options to cast their ballots.  This can both increase voter turnout and reduce the pressure on local election officials on Election Day.  Following this encouraging and timely vote today, I hope the full House of Representatives takes up this resolution soon and sends it to the Senate for approval.  That will give Connecticut voters the final say in November 2014 on amending our state constitution so that lawmakers can finally enact some form of early voting.”

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