Musto champions removal of barriers to absentee voting

On Wednesday, State Sen. Anthony Musto (D-Trumbull) brought before the Senate a joint resolution that calls for an amendment to the Connecticut Constitution that will remove restrictions on early voting and the use of absentee ballots.

As co-chair of the legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee, Sen. Musto was responsible for raising this resolution and shepherding it through the legislative process. Now that the resolution has passed both houses of the General Assembly, voters will have an opportunity to vote on the proposed change to our Constitution.

“I am always proud to vote for any bill that strengthens our democracy by allowing more people the chance to embrace their right to vote,” Musto 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.”

Supporters say the bill will strengthen the democratic process in Connecticut and encourage more citizens to exercise their right to vote. The resolution is part of a comprehensive voter reform package proposed last year by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

Currently Connecticut law limits the use of absentee ballots to those who will be out of town during the hours that polls are open, the sick and disabled, those whose religious tenants prevent them from going to the polls, and election workers who may have to spend the day working at a polling place other than their own. Passage of no-excuse absentee ballots will allow all registered voters in Connecticut to cast their vote by absentee for family obligations, work schedules, or any other reasons they are unable to appear at the polls on Election Day.

At least 32 other states already allow no-excuse absentee voting, according to the Office of the Secretary of the State.