Posted on May 5, 2023
Hartford-The Connecticut House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday to implement early voting. State Representative Tony Scott (R-Monroe) voted against the proposal to have 14 days of early voting for a regular, general election after speaking with elections officials in the 112th District.
An amendment to the state constitution was approved in November allowing the General Assembly to make laws creating a system for electors to vote early.
“I’ve talked with the Registrars of Voters and asked for their opinions since they’re the ones on the front lines that would have to carry out the regulations we enact. To go from zero to 14 days is a huge leap and will take a lot of time, money, and effort. After hearing from both Republican and Democratic Registrar of Voters in my district, I still have concerns with the bill we voted on,” said Scott.
One of the concerns is about the cost of a two-week early voting program.
“Right now, there’s about $4.5 million being allocated for all 169 municipalities, but we’ve been hearing that the true cost is closer to $9 million. I worry that towns in my district are not going to receive a sufficient allocation to implement early voting. Connecticut residents should feel confident in the elections process when we participate in this fundamental component of our democracy and this funding gap could shake trust in the system and deter interest in participation,” added Scott.
If signed into law, early voting would occur at a designated, centralized location approved by the Secretary of the State between 10am and 6pm on all designated days of early voting, except on the last Tuesday and the last Thursday during the early voting period; the hours for those two days are 8am to 8pm. For municipalities with populations larger than 20,000 residents, a public hearing must be held if a second location is going to be designated for early voting.
The measure awaits action in the Senate.