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Secretary Thomas Presents Legislature with Recommendations for Early Voting Program

(Hartford, CT) – This afternoon, Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas presented the Connecticut General Assembly with a third-party report studying early voting best practices as well as her agency’s recommendations for the implementation of an early voting program.

“In November, 59% of voters approved the Constitutional amendment to allow for early voting,” Thomas wrote to legislators. “You now have the important task of shaping legislation that provides increased access to voters, creates minimal strain on our municipalities and election officials, and is easily understood by the public.”

To be properly informed and prepared for the possible passage of this amendment, the Office of the Secretary of the State contracted with the nonpartisan nonprofit, the Center for Election Innovation & Research (CEIR), to study early voting, produce a report on its findings and propose recommendations for possible policy models.

CEIR reviewed the laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, performed surveys and interviews with state election officials, as well as explored scholarly research and administrative data on early in-person voting. They developed four early in-person voting policy models tailored to Connecticut that advise on the number of early voting days, hours, required locations as well as other elements. The detailed report is attached.

The Secretary’s recommendations urge for a manual method of voting spanning 10 days, encapsulating the two weekends preceding Election Day, including weekday early morning and evening hours, and to be implemented for the 2023 municipal elections. Additionally, Thomas urged the legislature to provide adequate funding for municipalities to implement the program seamlessly.

“It is imperative that any program be fully funded by the state to cover the costs of training materials, staff time, ballots and envelopes, chain of custody storage equipment, municipal technological upgrades, and any other incurred expenses,” Thomas wrote.

To adequately prepare for November 2023 implementation, Thomas requested that a bill be passed no later than March 31, 2023.

Early In-Person Voting In CT: Final Report


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