Power-Building Strategy: Commit to a broad pro-voting rights agenda.
Connecticut, like Colorado, receives high marks on many areas of building Democratic power in the state. It has two Democratic U.S. Senators, a Democratic Governor, and all five of its congressional districts are blue. Heading into the 2018 election, the State Senate was a tie, but Democrats flipped five seats to decisively take the majority (the State House has a large Democratic majority).
One important area where Connecticut has lagged behind other blue states is with voting rights. Connecticut was one of the worst-performing states in EveryDistrict Action Fund’s scorecard released in February 2019 and still has not made progress on several key issues.
Connecticut was notably lagging on allowing early voting and no excuse absentee voting. The state’s biggest challenge is the complicated constitutional amendment process needed to make permanent progress on both of these issues. (Connecticut was one of many states that provided accommodations to voting processes in 2020 due to COVID-19). In 2019, efforts to get the amendments on the ballot failed, in part due to the fact that a final vote in the State Senate was scheduled at the very end of the session, leaving little margin for error.
We commend Secretary of State Denise Merrill who has been a longtime champion of opening up the franchise to ensure voters have many options for exercising their constitutional right to vote. In the 2021 legislative session, we strongly urge Democratic lawmakers to follow her lead and make the bills that have currently been introduced on these issues a priority and pass them as soon as possible during the session.
How you can advance a 50-state strategy in Connecticut:
- Call on Connecticut state legislators to advance a voting rights agenda that makes voting in Connecticut as easy, convenient, and open as possible. Urge lawmakers to support the bills currently moving through the legislature that would begin the constitutional amendment process to allow early and no excuse absentee voting.
Crossposted from EveryDistrict with permission.
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