Derek Slap


Derek Slap



March 23, 2022

Senator Slap, Senate Democrats Pass Bill Making it Easier to Vote by Absentee Ballot

Ongoing concerns about pandemic create urgency for reform

Today, State Senator Derek Slap (D-West Hartford) joined Senate Democrats in voting to ease restrictions against access to absentee ballots, making it easier for residents to participate in elections by that method. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, absentee ballots have provided a safe and simple way for residents concerned for their health to cast ballots; today’s vote on House Bill 5262 solidifies their options to do so.

“Absentee ballots are an important option for many in our communities, and our state has some of the most restrictive rules for their use,” said Sen. Slap. “I’m encouraged that this legislation will aid us in ensuring more folks who need absentee ballots can use them.”

House Bill 5262, “An Act Revising Certain Absentee Voting Eligibility Statutes,” expands two of the six reasons why qualified voters can participate in an election via absentee ballot. Under the bill, qualified voters may vote by absentee if they are unable to appear in person because of “sickness,” instead of their own illness, and due to “physical disability,” instead of their own physical disability. The bill also allows voters to cast ballots via absentee if they are unable to appear at their polling place due to absence from the town they are registered to vote in, updating language allowing that reason only in cases where a voter is absent during all hours of voting.

The bill also modifies language to apply reasons for voting absentee to qualified voters who are unable to appear at their polling place during the day of an election, primary or referendum, expanding current language that only applies to those unable to appear during all hours of voting on that day.

The changes this legislation provides will be in place permanently.