May 8, 2019

Sen. Haskell Joins Senate Passage Of Early Voting Amendment, Expresses Disappointment In Broad Republican Opposition

HARTFORD – After a bipartisan vote in the house last week, State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) today joined Democrats in the state Senate in supporting a resolution that could ultimately allow for early voting in Connecticut.

House Joint Resolution 161, “Resolution Proposing an Amendment to the State Constitution to Allow for Early Voting,” passed the Senate on a largely partisan 23-13 vote. With so many Republicans opposing this legislation, the margin now means that, if approved by voters at statewide referendum, the issue of early voting would have to be voted on again by the next legislature to be elected in November 2020, and if approved, would not take effect until the 2023 election – more than four years from now.

“This was a really disappointing day in the Senate. Perhaps I’m just new to this, but I’m shocked to see a lack of Republican support for giving citizens increased freedom to vote on their own terms,” said Sen. Haskell. “Tonight, my Republican colleagues in the Senate decided that partisanship comes before the democratic process. This legislation received broad support in the House, where Republicans recognized that the right to vote is rendered meaningless without the ability to vote. I remain hopeful that Connecticut will one day become the 41st state to offer early voting access, thereby reducing long lines on Election Day and allowing parents, workers, students and seniors to cast their ballots how they choose.”

The House joint resolution seeks to amend sections of the state constitution to allow for early voting; that is, voting outside the normal 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. time period on Election Day.

Democrats are aiming to allow Connecticut to join the other 40 U.S. states and the District of Columbia in offering some form of early voting to its busy state residents.