Jorge Cabrera

State Senator

Jorge Cabrera

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working Together to Solve Problems

February 22, 2021

Sen. Cabrera Supportive of Resolutions Regarding No-Excuse Absentee Ballot Voting and Early Voting

HARTFORD, CT – Today, state Senator Jorge Cabrera (D-Hamden) gave his support to two house joint resolutions that seek to improve voting ease and access in Connecticut. House Joint Resolution 59 aims to allow early voting and House Joint Resolution 58 would make permanent no-excuse absentee ballot voting if passed. Both measures were the subject of a public hearing in Monday’s Government Administration and Elections Committee meeting.

“It is not only our right as Americans to participate in our democracy, it is also imperative to our democracy’s strength that we all get involved and are afforded the opportunities to do so,” said Sen. Cabrera. “In 2020, people in Connecticut were empowered and the passage of temporary no-excuse absentee voting enabled them to participate in great numbers. We know many obstacles can stand between a voter and the polls, whether it is a job they cannot leave to spend hours waiting in line, or an illness that keeps them in the home, or the global pandemic that has altered all our lives in profound ways. Early voting and no-excuse absentee ballot voting clear a path for voters to safely participate, strengthen our democracy, and ensure decisions that effect many are not made by a few.”

Both measures are proposals to amend the state’s constitution. Regarding the House Joint Resolution on no-excuse absentee ballot voting, the General Assembly would need to pass this measure by a three-fourths majority in each chamber. If it passes, no-excuse absentee ballot voting is added to the ballot for the November 8, 2022 state election, allowing Connecticut voters to decide. If voters choose to support this measure, as data suggests they are inclined to, it will be part of the state’s constitution and the General Assembly will be tasked with determining how it will be implemented.

Early voting, House Joint Resolution 59, is a holdover from 2019 as it passed by a majority in state Senate and three-fourths in the House, but not three-fourths in each chamber. Now early voting would need to pass the General Assembly by a simple majority in each chamber. If the house joint resolution advances, it is placed on the ballot for the Nov. 8, 2022 state election, enabling voters to determine its future. Data suggests this measure will pass as well. If it does pass, the General Assembly will decide implementation.

Last summer, the legislature voted to extend voting access temporarily through no-excuse absentee ballot voting. This measure was needed due to the pandemic, making the notion of forcing residents to stand in long lines as they waited to vote risky to the public’s health. The expansion of no-excuse absentee ballot voting was also a success, as only 0.94 percent of absentee ballots were rejected, the lowest percentage in recent history, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Connecticut is one of six states in the nation that does not offer early voting and one of only 16 states across the country that does not offer no-excuse absentee ballot voting.

About Sen. Cabrera: The senator was the first in his family to attend college, earning a degree in Political Science from Quinnipiac University. The senator is a business representative with UFCW Local 919 and has devoted the last 25 years fighting for working families across the 17th District and country. Sen. Cabrera is Senate Chair of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee and Vice Chair of the Labor Committee.