Secretary Merrill Statement on the 2021 Session
“As other states like Florida, Georgia, and Texas have moved to restrict voting rights, Connecticut has led the way to increase voters’ access to the ballot box and to the electoral process. This legislative session, we took significant steps to make it easier for voters to cast their ballots and make their voices heard.
“In 2022, Connecticut voters will be able to remove the restrictions from the Connecticut Constitution that prevent our voters from casting their ballots in-person prior to Election Day. And we have started the process of allowing Connecticut voters to decide if they believe every Connecticut voter should be able to cast an absentee ballot without needing an excuse. That will go on the ballot for the voters in 2024.
“We also moved towards a more just society by ending the practice of gerrymandering incarcerated persons into districts that they have no intention of ever residing in, rather than in the communities from which they came, and taking steps to ensure that our state’s boards and commissions reflect the diversity of Connecticut’s people.
“Our work is not done however. Although the legislature failed to take action to make the popular secure ballot drop boxes a permanent feature of our elections, to expand our successful program of Automatic Voter Registration at the DMV to other state agencies, and to finally allow people on parole to register and vote, just like people on probation, I am optimistic that every one of these important issues and more will be addressed in the upcoming special session.
“I also remain optimistic about our Connecticut democracy. In the 2020 election and in this legislative session, thousands of people got involved in the political process and made their voices heard – at the ballot box, by reaching out to their representatives, and by passionately advocating on the issues important to them. Thank you to every Connecticut resident who made calls, sent emails, and pushed their representatives to support expanded access to the ballot box!”- Secretary of the State Denise Merrill