Jorge Cabrera

State Senator

Jorge Cabrera

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working Together to Solve Problems

March 23, 2022

Sen. Cabrera Takes Action to Make Voting Easier By Expanding Access to Absentee Ballots

HARTFORD, CT – Today, state Senator Jorge Cabrera (D-Hamden) acted to make voting easier by expanding access to absentee ballots, making it easier for residents to participate in elections by that method. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, absentee ballots have provided a safe and simple way for residents concerned for their health to cast ballots; today’s vote on House Bill 5262 solidifies their options to do so.

“We know how integral participation is to our democracy and I have long-since been a supporter of making voting easier for everyone in our state,” Sen. Cabrera. “At a time when we are becoming more aware of the fragility of democracy and freedom both at home and abroad, it is important to protect and make stronger the rights of all people to participate in the democratic process. This remains especially important as we continue to navigate the evolving impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

House Bill 5262, “An Act Revising Certain Absentee Voting Eligibility Statutes,” expands two of the six reasons why qualified voters can participate in an election via absentee ballot. Under the bill, qualified voters may vote by absentee if they are unable to appear in person because of “sickness,” instead of their own illness, and due to “physical disability,” instead of their own physical disability. The bill also allows voters to cast ballots via absentee if they are unable to appear at their polling place due to absence from the town they are registered to vote in, updating language allowing that reason only in cases where a voter is absent during all hours of voting.

The bill also modifies language to apply reasons for voting absentee to qualified voters who are unable to appear at their polling place during the day of an election, primary or referendum, expanding current language that only applies to those unable to appear during all hours of voting on that day.

The changes this legislation provides will be in place permanently.