Julie Kushner

State Senator

Julie Kushner

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working Together for Progress

May 31, 2023


Wednesday, May 31, 2023


State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury) this evening voted for two pieces of legislation that will greatly expand voting in Connecticut: House Joint 1, a resolution that will remove the Connecticut constitution’s current, multiple restrictions on absentee voting and allow for “no-excuses” absentee voting; and House Bill 5004, “AN ACT IMPLEMENTING EARLY VOTING,” which establishes a framework for early, in-person voting for all general elections, primaries, and special elections in Connecticut held on or after January 1, 2024.

“Tonight, I voted the will of the people of the 24th State Senate District. Last fall, nearly 22,000 people in the district – more than 60 percent of those voting – said yes to early voting. When we increase the opportunity to vote, when we increase the accessibility to the ballot, we strengthen our democracy,” Sen. Kushner said. “And in 2020, people were very happy to fill out an absentee ballot and drop it in the box. With our vote tonight, we’ll put no-excuses absentee voting on the ballot in 2024. I hope my constituents embrace no-excuse absentee voting in the same way they overwhelmingly supported early voting.”

HJ 1, which passed the Senate this evening on a 26-8 vote, now heads to Connecticut residents to consider on the 2024 general election ballot. Under current Connecticut law, voters can only vote by absentee ballot if they’re going to be out of town on Election Day, due to sickness, if they’re on active military duty, because of a religious prohibition, or if they are poll workers who will be working all day in another town. But 27 other U.S. states already allow for no-excuse absentee voting, including the Republican states of Arizona, Florida, Idaho, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming. If approved by voters in 2024, the legislature would begin working on bill language for no-excuses absentee voting in 2025.

HB 5004, which passed the Senate on a bipartisan 27-7 vote, requires a 14-day early voting period for general elections, a seven-day period for most primaries, and a four-day early voting period for special elections and presidential preference primaries. Every city and town in Connecticut must establish at least one early voting location and may establish more. Early voting locations must be open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., including weekends, except that on the last Tuesday and Thursday before the election, the locations must be open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The bill also sets various requirements and procedures for early voting including voter eligibility, same-day election registration, ballot custody, staffing and training, and materials. HB 5004 now heads to Governor Ned Lamont for his signature of that bill into law.