Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

May 27, 2021

Senator Anwar Votes to Give Final Approval to Resolution Allowing for Early Voting Constitutional Change in Connecticut

HARTFORD – Democrats in the state Senate today led the way in approving a much-needed and long-awaited resolution which – if approved by a majority of residents in November 2022 – would end Connecticut’s outdated and burdensome voting laws by allowing for in-person early voting in both general elections and local referendums. State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) joined the Senate in approving the legislation.

Currently, the state constitution sets the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November as the only day to vote for legislative and statewide offices; election officials have to receive and declare votes on this one day. Connecticut is one of just seven states in America that does not allow for early, in-person voting.

“It is overdue for Connecticut to adopt early voting, especially given the overwhelming support by both Democrats and Republicans in our state for its expansion,” said Sen. Anwar. “Making matters worse, we are one of just seven states in the country not allowing this practice that expands access and ease of voting among the public. With such strong support, it makes sense for us to allow the public to make its decision in November 2022.”

Connecticut is in a small and shrinking group of states – along with Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and South Carolina – that require all voters to vote in person at a polling place on Election Day unless they present a specific reason why they can’t appear. In 2016, a third of all American voters – nearly 50 million people – voted early; in 2020, that number doubled to more than 100 million, and early voting represented more than two-thirds of all votes cast.

Recent public polling in Connecticut shows that about 80% of Connecticut voters support in-person early voting, including 70% of Republicans, 80% of unaffiliated voters, and 85% of Democrats.

Because of a lack of Republican legislative support for in-person early voting, while this proposal did pass the legislature in 2019, it did so without a ‘supermajority’ of votes in both chambers, and so it needs to pass the Connecticut House and Senate with simple majorities this year before voters can have their say.

The resolution passed the Senate today on a 26-9 vote. The ballot question will appear on the November 2022 ballot.