Photo of Senator Anwar.

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Representing East Hartford, Ellington, East Windsor and South Windsor

Senator Anwar Joins Senate Democratic Caucus Testimony to Support No-Excuse Absentee Ballots, Early Voting Access Expansion


As the Government Administration and Elections Committee today heard testimony from the public regarding proposals to allow voters to consider no-excuse absentee ballots and early voting access expansion, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) joined the Senate Democratic Caucus to advocate in support. If measures considered by lawmakers are approved, voters in 2022 would cast ballots to approve or reject expansion of voting access through these two methods.

"Connecticut is currently only one of a handful of states where in-person early voting is not available," said Senate Democratic testimony supporting expansion of early voting across the state submitted today. "The overwhelming majority of states allow for early voting, allowing millions of Americans across the nation to cast their ballot prior to Election Day. Connecticut can no longer trail behind the rest of the country in offering increased voter access to the ballots."

"Connecticut is only one of sixteen states where no-excuse absentee voting is not available," said similar Senate Democratic testimony endorsing the allowance of no-excuse absentee ballots. "Here, a state-approved excuse is required to request an absentee ballot. The remaining two-thirds of the states allow any qualified voter to vote absentee without offering an excuse, allowing millions of Americans to cast their vote at their convenience by absentee ballot."

The full testimonies can be read below:

No-Excuse Absentee Ballots:

We are here to testify in support of caucus priority House Joint Resolution 58—A RESOLUTION PROPOSING A STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO ALLOW NO-EXCUSE ABSENTEE VOTING because although all eligible voters in Connecticut have the right to vote in-person on Election Day, not all may have the ability to do so. It is incumbent upon us to provide flexible, accessible and convenient voting options to all residents of our state.

Connecticut is only one of sixteen states where no-excuse absentee voting is not available. Here, a state-approved excuse is required to request an absentee ballot. The remaining two-thirds of the states allow any qualified voter to vote absentee without offering an excuse, allowing millions of Americans to cast their vote at their convenience by absentee ballot. Offering no-excuse absentee ballots will not only result in increased voter access and participation but can also result in increased voter satisfaction and financial savings. In states where no-excuse absentee ballots are permitted, voters have expressed more enthusiasm about the electoral process and have appreciated being able to study the issues and review the ballots at home. Jurisdictions with no-excuse absentee ballots have also seen financial savings in the need to reduce staffing at polling locations. Of greatest significance, however, is that permitting no-excuse absentee ballots would permit more residents to vote in the manner most convenient to them. Connecticut's current restrictions on the use of absentee ballots may limit many of the hardworking parents, business owners, and students in our state from participating in the democratic process.

HJR 58 would eliminate the many hurdles our constituents face when trying to vote on Election Day by expanding ballot access to voters who are looking to exercise their right to vote. We hope you will join us in supporting this important piece of legislation while it moves through the process and to an eventual passage by a three-fourths majority in both chambers allowing the question on the ballot on November 8, 2022.

Early Voting:

We are here to testify in support of caucus priority House Joint Resolution 59--A RESOLUTION APPROVING AN AMENDMENT TO THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO ALLOW EARLY VOTING because although all eligible voters in Connecticut have the right to vote in-person on Election Day, not all may have the ability to do so. It is imperative for us to provide flexible, accessible and convenient voting options to all residents of our state.

Connecticut is currently only one of a handful of states where in-person early voting is not available. The overwhelming majority of states allow for early voting, allowing millions of Americans across the nation to cast their ballot prior to Election Day. Connecticut can no longer trail behind the rest of the country in offering increased voter access to the ballots.

Offering in-person early voting will provide flexibility to those who work hard to balance day-to-day responsibilities. Instead of being restricted to simply voting on Election Day, residents will have the option to choose a day to vote in person, perhaps removing any potential hardships in getting to the polls. Allowing in-person early voting can lead to increased voter turnout, decreased wait times at the polls and alleviate poll-worker fatigue. Significantly, allowing early voting and early tabulation provides the opportunity for the correction of voting errors, potentially preventing voter disenfranchisement.

The only alternative to in-person Election Day voting we currently offer our residents is a state-approved excuse to request an absentee ballot. By offering only this narrow exception, we may be limiting many hardworking parents, business owners, and students in our state from participating in the democratic process. HJR 59 will only serve to benefit our constituents by expanding ballot access to voters who are looking to exercise their right to vote. We hope you will join us in supporting this important piece of legislation while it moves through the process and to an eventual passage by both chambers allowing the question on the ballot on November 8, 2022.



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