Mae Flexer

State Senator

Mae Flexer

Deputy President Pro Tempore & Federal Relations Liaison

An Advocate for Us

May 25, 2021

Sen. Flexer Leads Senate Passage of Bill Modernizing Connecticut Voting Laws

HARTFORD – State Senator Mae Flexer this evening led state Senate passage of a bill that modernizes Connecticut’s voting laws by improving access for everyone by allowing different state agencies to automatically enroll new voters, restore voting rights for persons on parole who are no longer incarcerated, and allow people with disabilities to have more respect and accessibility in our voting laws.

Senate Bill 5, “An Act Concerning Increased Opportunities For Absentee Voting, Safe and Secure In-Person Voting, Voter Registration And Certain Other Changes Regarding Election Administration,” passed the Senate on a 25-10 vote and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

“This bill represents a broad reform of Connecticut’s election laws,” said Sen. Flexer, who is the Senate Chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee. “It’s very important that Connecticut make it easier to vote, and that’s what automatic voter provisions and other sections of this bill will do. At a time when some other state legislatures across the country are making it more difficult for people to vote, we’re trying to get as many people as possible in Connecticut to participate in democracy and go out and vote.”

Some of the new voting provisions in SB 5 include:

  • Requires the DMV, various state agencies, and public higher education institutions to use a secretary of the state-approved electronic system to automatically transmit voter registration applications for qualified applicants to the registrars of voters. Under existing law, the DMV must include a voter registration application as part of each motor vehicle driver’s license application or renewal, or each identity card application. Under SB 5, state agencies that can verify citizenship like public assistance agencies and institutions of higher education must include a voter registration application with each service or with each assistance application, recertification, renewal, or change of address.
  • Restores, as of July 1, voting privileges to convicted felons who are on parole. Right now that automatic restoration of voting privileges is only granted to people who are on probation or who have completed their sentences and are released from physical incarceration.
  • Allows people with developmental disabilities to have a legal representative assist them with registering to vote and voting
  • Allows voters to apply for an absentee ballot online
  • Requires the implementation of e-signature systems for most elections-related forms and applications
  • Requires registrars of voters to annually distribute voter registration information at public high schools
  • Requires town clerks to post notices for state, municipal elections on the town website
  • Adds “sibling” to the list of immediate family members allowed to return absentee ballots on behalf of voters
  • Electors suffering from long-term illnesses will be made eligible for permanent absentee ballot status