Governor Lamont Signs Legislation Expanding Eligibility for Absentee Ballots
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has signed legislation (Public Act 22-2) expanding two of the six statutory reasons under which voters in Connecticut can qualify for an absentee ballot during an election, primary, or referendum by allowing out-of-town commuters and caretakers of those who are ill or have a disability to vote by absentee ballot.
The legislation removes more restrictive language on these qualifications from state statutes and better aligns state laws with the standard that is set in the state constitution.
“This slight change better aligns our state laws with that allowed under the constitution,” Governor Lamont said. “We should be doing everything we can to encourage qualified voters to cast a ballot, and this is a responsible step forward in that direction.”
“It is important that we work together to ensure that any person who is eligible to vote can cast their vote,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said. “Voting is one of our most important civic duties, and this minor expansion of our state’s laws is another positive step towards facilitating voter engagement for all Connecticut residents.”
“No voter should ever have to choose between protecting their health and exercising their right to vote,” Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said. “The COVID-19 crisis is still with us, and this legislation will ensure that voters will be able to cast their ballots and make their voices heard.”
“Our democracy simply works better when more people have a say on the future of their towns, state and country,” State Representative Dan Fox (D-Stamford), co-chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, said. “Just because someone has to commute in order to bring home a paycheck each week or spends time caring for a loved one who cannot take care of themselves should not prevent them from making their voice heard. These changes are small but important steps to ensuring all Connecticut residents have the opportunity to exercise this vital right.”
The legislation was approved in the House by a vote of 126 to 16 and in the Senate by a vote of 30 to 4. It takes effect immediately.
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