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Still Time To Register, Safe Voting Bill Passes In Connecticut

A bill to allow Connecticut voters to choose their next president by absentee voting is awaiting Gov. Ned Lamont's signature.
A bill to allow Connecticut voters to choose their next president by absentee voting is awaiting Gov. Ned Lamont's signature. Photo Credit: Image by amberzen from Pixabay

If you haven't already done it, here's where to register to vote online. The voting deadlines are Tuesday, Oct. 27 (received) by mail and Tuesday, Oct. 27 in person. Not sure if you're registered? Check online at voter registration lookup here.

Concerned about your safety when voting? The Senate approved House Bill 6002, "An Act Concerning Absentee Voting At The 2020 State Election And Election Day Registration" by a vote of 35-1, and Gov. Ned Lamont is expected to sign it. It will allow Connecticut voters to cast their vote by mail-in absentee ballot or at a locked box outside their municipality's town or city hall.

The bill is "a step in the right direction, said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk).  "I've been invigorated by the public debate around expanding absentee ballot access, and I think it bodes well for any future discussions the legislature may have regarding other changes to Connecticut's voting regulations which, quite frankly, need to catch up with the times." Here is where you can see Duff give remarks on the Senate floor.

Without the change Connecticut residents can vote by absentee ballot if the voter is on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces; if the voter will be absent from town during the entire time that polls are open; if the voter is ill; if the voter has a physical disability which prevents them from voting in person; if the voter's religion prohibits them from voting that day; or if the voter is working at the polls in a primary, election or referendum.

But the global COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns among Connecticut residents about standing in line at the polls or voting in a crowded polling location, particularly for the elderly and those with medical conditions.

The bill if approved will allow for absentee voting due to "the sickness of COVID-19."

It also allows any person who is in line to vote before polls close at 8 p.m. to access Connecticut's "same-day registration" procedure at that polling location, as long as they meet all of the state's voter eligibility requirements; existing state law only allows for same-day voter registration from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. at specific locations in town, but then the voter must proceed to their own local polling place in order to cast their vote.

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