Connecticut House Expands Absentee Voting Access

While other states have passed legislation to protect voter integrity during the 2022 elections, Connecticut has taken steps to advance the controversial practice of absentee voting on a large scale.

HB 5262 passed the State House of Representatives, expanding access to vote away from polling places.

According to the bill:

Any elector eligible to vote at a primary or an election and any person eligible to vote at a referendum may vote by absentee ballot if such elector or person is unable to appear at such elector’s or person’s polling place during the hours of voting for any of the following reasons:

(1) Such elector’s or person’s active service with the armed forces of the United States;

(2) such elector’s or person’s absence from the town of such elector’s or person’s voting residence; [during all of the hours of voting];

(3) such elector’s or person’s illness;

(4) such elector’s or person’s … sickness; … physical disability; … the tenets of such elector’s or person’s religion forbid secular activity on the day of the primary, election or referendum

The second provision addresses a perennial issue in Connecticut: many people who reside in the state work in New York City and cannot access the polls during normal voting hours. They, too, will be allowed to cast absentee ballots.

Absentee voting and voting by mail were widely expanded due to the COVID-19 pandemic at the 11th hour of the 2020 election cycle, leading to a hectic and controversial election outcome.

Never before in American history had so many Americans voted away from polling places, and former President Donald Trump believes that fraud related to absentee voting may have contributed to his loss.

Laws like Georgia’s SB 202, enacted in 2021, have tightened absentee voting rules in an attempt to make them similarly strict as pre-pandemic absentee voting rules.

That bill requires voter identification for all absentee ballots, increases oversight of local election boards that fail to follow state election law, and secures drop boxes – another source of controversy – with around-the-clock monitoring.

Those efforts have been labeled “voter suppression” by the political left, which has demanded that absentee voting and voting by mail remain permanent options for the electorate.

HB 5262 now heads to the Democrat-controlled Connecticut Senate for consideration.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Connecticut Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Absentee Ballot Drop Off” by Chris Phan. CC BY-SA 3.0.


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