Mae Flexer

State Senator

Mae Flexer

Deputy President Pro Tempore & Federal Relations Liaison

An Advocate for Us

May 27, 2021

Sen. Flexer Leads Final Approval of Resolution Allowing for Early Voting Constitutional Change in Connecticut

HARTFORD – State Senator Mae Flexer this afternoon led the state Senate 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and long-awaited resolution which – if approved by a majority of residents in November 2022 – would end Connecticut’s outdated voting laws by allowing for in-person early voting in both general elections and local referendums.

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 six states in America that does not allow for early, in-person voting.

If approved by voters in 2022, the members of the state legislature in January 2023 would then be tasked with writing the early voting regulations.

“I want to thank the people of Connecticut who have so forcefully advocated over the past several years for early voting and who got us to this momentous vote today,” said Sen. Flexer, who is Senate Chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee that oversees such matters. “I want Connecticut to be a beacon of light in our country where, right now, too many other state legislatures in America are making it harder and harder for their constituents to vote. Our residents right here in Connecticut should be empowered to decide whether or not they want to have early voting. And that’s what this resolution does.”

Connecticut is in a small and shrinking group of states – along with Alabama, 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 needed 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.