Connecticut Early Voting Amendment, Question 1 (2014)
|Referred by:||Connecticut State Legislature|
|Status:||On the ballot|
Text of measure
The official ballot question reads as follows:
|“||Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to remove restrictions concerning absentee ballots and to permit a person to vote without appearing at a polling place on the day of an election?||”|
The ballot summary reads as follows:
|“||If this constitutional amendment passes, it would give the General Assembly greater authority to pass a law allowing voters to cast their ballots without having to (1) appear at their polling place on election day or (2) provide a reason for voting by absentee ballot.
If the amendment passes, it would also eliminate the constitutional deadlines by which election moderators must submit their election returns to their town clerks and the secretary of the state (i.e., within 3 and 10 days after an election, respectively). The Connecticut General Statutes set earlier deadlines by which they must submit these returns (e.g., midnight on election day to the secretary of the state).
The state constitution contains provisions regarding the administration of elections in Connecticut, including requiring voters to cast their ballots at their polling place on election day, unless they qualify to vote by absentee ballot. Under the constitution, voters may qualify for an absentee ballot if they will be out of town, are sick or have a physical disability, or the tenets of their religion prohibit secular activity on election day. Because these restrictions are in the constitution, the General Assembly does not currently have the authority to pass a law that changes them. The constitutional amendment would eliminate these restrictions. 
If approved, the following changes would be made to Section 7 of article 6, Section 4 of article 4 and Section 9 of article 3 of the Connecticut Constitution. Material to be deleted is indicated by
strikeout and material to be added is indicated by underline
Section 7 of article sixth of the Constitution is amended to read as follows:
The general assembly may provide by law for voting in the choice of any officer to be
elected or upon any question to be voted on at an election by qualified voters of the
state who [
Section 4 of article fourth of the Constitution is amended to read as follows:
Section 9 of article third of the Constitution is amended to read as follows:
At all elections for members of the general assembly the presiding officers in the
several towns shall [
- Sen. Anthony Musto (D-22) said, "This bill will allow voters to remove the obstructions preventing early and no-excuse absentee ballot voting, ensuring that all of Connecticut’s voices are heard."
- Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) said, "Voting is a great responsibility and this amendment assures the voting rights of every Connecticut resident whether or not they can get to the polls on Election Day. While some states are working to suppress voter turnout, we are working to encourage greater turnout by increasing penalties on any effort to block voter access and moving our electoral system into the 21st Century."
The measure was passed in the legislature along party lines, with Republican members opposing the effort.
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the Connecticut Constitution
Connecticut has an either/or system, which means that a proposed amendment must be passed by simple majority in two separate legislative sessions, or by a supermajority vote of 75% during one session. Therefore, it was possible for the proposed measure to appear on either the 2012 or 2014 statewide ballot.
On Wednesday, April 4, 2012, the Connecticut House of Representatives voted 97-50 to approve the amendment. This number, however, was shy of the 114 'yes' votes needed to pass the measure onto this year's ballot. This did leave open the possibility of making the ballot in 2014, provided the amendment gained approval in the 2013 session.
- CTPost.com, "Connecticut voters to vote on expanding voting," May 10, 2013
- Connecticut Secretary of State, "Explanatory text for constitutional amendment 2014," accessed September 8, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Connecticut Secretary of State, "Ballot Question," accessed September 9, 2014
- House Joint Resolution 36 (status)
- Hartford Courant, "Constitutional Amendment To Ease Voting By Absentee Ballot Finds Favor But Won't Go To Voters This Year," April 4, 2012
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