Cathy Osten


Cathy Osten



February 22, 2021

Sen. Osten Supports Expanded Absentee Voting and Early Voting in Connecticut

HARTFORD – State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) today gave her strong support to two bills that seek to improve voting ease and access in Connecticut and which will modernize Connecticut’s voting laws when compared to other American states.

House Joint Resolution 59 would allow for early voting in Connecticut, and House Joint Resolution 58 would make permanent the no-excuse mail-in absentee ballot voting that so many Connecticut residents took advantage of last fall during the coronavirus pandemic.

Connecticut is one of just six states in America that doesn’t offer early voting, and one of just16 states that doesn’t offer no-excuse absentee voting.

Both measures received overwhelming public support from the approximately 1,000 people who submitted testimony online at today’s virtual public hearing before the legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee. If approved by voters at future referendums, both bills

“For anyone working two jobs, or a double shift, or for anyone who relies on public transportation, and for all of the elderly citizens who may not find it convenient or safe to leave their homes, I support no-excuse mail-in voting and early voting in Connecticut,” Sen. Osten said. “It’s time we catch up with the rest of the country when it comes to participatory democracy. Most all other states in America have early voting and absentee voting. Our democracy is better when more people interact and vote, and that’s exactly what these two bills will accomplish.”

For no-excuse absentee voting, the legislature would have to pass the bill by a three-fourths majority in each chamber. If it passes, no-excuse absentee 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 would become part Connecticut’s constitution and the General Assembly would then be tasked with determining how to implement it.

The early voting bill is a holdover from the 2019 legislative session where it passed by a majority in Senate and by three-fourths in the House. The early voting bills needs to pass the General Assembly again by simple majority votes in each chamber in order to be placed on the ballot for the November 8, 2022 state election, thereby enabling Connecticut residents to determine its fate. Again, Data suggests this measure will pass as well.

Last summer, the legislature voted to extend no-excuses absentee voting by mail on a temporary basis due to the pandemic. That proved enormously popular with the public and very successful, with less than 1 percent of absentee ballots rejected, which was one the lowest percentages in recent history, according to the Secretary of State’s office.