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Secretary Thomas Testifies in Support of Ten-Day Early Voting Period, No-Excuse Absentee Ballot Constitutional Amendment

(Hartford, CT) – This morning Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas testified before the Government Administration and Elections Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly in support of a ten-day period of early voting as well as a proposed constitutional amendment to allow for no-excuse absentee ballots.

“I have spent the past year, and certainly the past six weeks, going out of my way to speak with as many election workers - registrars and town clerks as possible,” Thomas said. “They are consummate professionals and they know how to do this and have no doubts they can do it as long as the equipment and funding are provided so their town doesn’t have to suffer unnecessarily.”

Thomas reiterated her request for the state to provide funding to administer early voting so that municipalities are not forced to bear the costs of staff time, training materials, ballots, chain of custody storage equipment, municipal technological upgrades, and other incurred expenses.

“I believe that the right to vote is our most important responsibility as citizens and that the state needs to fund our elections,” Thomas said. “State investment would be a signal to voters that we actually believe we work for them.”

Thomas told legislators long term data from other states suggest that longer than a ten-day period of early voting does not necessarily lead to increased turnout and voters generally cast an early ballot during two high-traffic periods, the first couple of days it is available as well as when the election closes in.

Thomas also voiced her support for the joint resolutions that would put a question on the ballot in 2024 to allow for no-excuse absentee ballots.

“I continue to support presenting Connecticut voters with the option of whether or not to amend the state constitution to allow for no-excuse absentee ballots,” Thomas said. “Given last year’s amendment and the process we are undergoing now, I believe that the voters of Connecticut will be ready, willing, and able to decide if they would like that option.”

Secretary Thomas’s written testimony is available here.


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