LETTER: Time for Voting Reforms in CT

Submitted by Sherry Wernicke

The time has come for CT to implement voting reforms. In fact, it is long overdue. CT currently has some of the most restrictive voting laws and is far behind much of the country. Only 6 other states require voters to vote in person unless they have an excuse, while 39 offer some form of early voting. Four even use all mail-in ballots.

In our last election, 35% of voters voted absentee and all went smoothly. There was NO voter fraud even with a 79.7% turnout, the highest ever. And people loved this choice.

According to a recent public opinion poll by nonpartisan Secure Democracy, 79% of respondents support early voting and 73% no-excuse absentee balloting. This was across all party lines and demographics. And it’s not surprising. In today’s world, voters do not want to be restricted to one day of voting, nor should they be. Options need to be provided that allow them to choose the method that works best for them.

But changing voting laws in CT won’t be easy and will take time, as they require a constitutional amendment. This means a bill has to pass the House and Senate first and then go to voters as a ballot measure. For instance, the soonest we could get an early voting amendment on the ballot would be 2022 and even later for no-excuse absentee balloting, unless we have a ¾ majority vote. But we can do this!

Please contact your State Rep and Senator and urge them to support voting reform measures NOW.

With such overwhelming public support to expand access to voting in CT, the time has come for action. Let’s ensure every voter can be part of the process without barriers. Voting should not be a hardship for our citizens. It should be an easy process that allows all of our voices to be heard.

Sherry Wernicke