Governor Lamont Applauds the House for Approving His Proposal to Improve Election Administration in Connecticut
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont is applauding the Connecticut House of Representatives for voting tonight to adopt a series proposals he introduced that is designed to improve the administration of elections in Connecticut and increase voter turnout.
“As Americans, it is our duty to make voting and voter registration easier and more accessible to every eligible citizen,” Governor Lamont said. “We must promote maximum participation in the democratic process and use technology to increase access to the ballot for all communities. Let’s make Connecticut’s elections system the most modern and efficient in the country. I want to thank Secretary of the State Denise Merrill for working with our office to develop these proposals and introduce them in the legislature, and I applaud everyone in the House today who saw that these reforms should be implemented and voted today to approve them. While I am disappointed that additional, commonsense improvements to reduce delays in Election Day registration were removed from the bill, I am pleased with the strides forward that this bill takes for our citizens. It is imperative that the Senate take up this important democratic reform and pass it quickly.”
The legislation is House Bill 7160, An Act Increasing Voter Access. The bill:
- Enacts automatic voter registration: Builds on the success of Connecticut’s revamped motor voter program by automatically registering eligible voters unless they decline to register, codifies current protections that prevent non-citizens from registering to vote, and speeds up the electronic voter registration process and licensing transactions by digitizing voter registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles, other voter registration agencies, and public colleges and universities.
- Reduces delays during election day registration: Expands access to election day registration and reduces long lines by allowing registrars, with the permission of the Secretary of the State, to establish more than one election-day registration location in each respective municipality, and requiring registrars to submit their plans for election day registration to the Secretary for review and potential modification;
- Allows people on parole to vote: Promotes criminal justice reform and reintegration of citizens returning from incarceration by allowing people on parole to register and vote while on parole or assigned to a community residence;
- Modernizes election forms and allows electronic signatures: Confirms the law to current practice by allowing electronic transmission of change of address information from the Department of Motor Vehicles to registrars; allows for the Secretary of the State to accept electronic signatures for online voter registration and for any other forms or applications related to voter registration and election administration, except for those under the purview of the State Elections Enforcement Commission; allows the use of technology to provide electronic forms and applications for voter registration at state agencies and other entities already required by statute to provide voter registration opportunities; and
- Modernizes special elections: Provides for the electronic delivery of writs of special election.
It was approved in the House by a 85-60 vote. It next will be transmitted to the State Senate, where it must be approved it before it can be sent to the governor for his signature.