Voter Issues

APRIL 2020


• Connecticut:  Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont says he does not want to cancel the state's presidential primary, which is scheduled for June 2. Democratic Secretary of State Denise Merrill previously said she planned to send an absentee ballot application to every voter, and she had also asked candidates who've dropped out to withdraw their names from the ballot so that she could cancel the election herself. However, both Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard have not done so, nor has one minor Republican.

Lamont could nevertheless cancel the primaries himself but says that doing so would set a bad precedent. Instead, the governor says he is considering the possibility of delaying the primary, which had originally been set for April 28, until July. Connecticut's downballot primaries will not take place until Aug. 11.

Lamont also says his office is researching whether he can relax the state's requirement that voters present an excuse in order to vote absentee, as Merrill and others have exhorted him to do.



Connecticut: Democratic Secretary of State Denise Merrill and prominent Democratic lawmakers have once more thrown their support behind a bill that would enact automatic voter registration; expand same-day registration availability beyond just one location in each of Connecticut's 169 towns; ensure that people waiting in line when the polls close at 8 PM can still register and vote; and restore voting rights to people on parole for a felony conviction, which would leave only those currently incarcerated unable to vote.

Democrats tried to pass a similar proposal in 2019, but it only made it through the state House and not the state Senate after Republicans reportedly threatened to filibuster unrelated legislation with only a short time left in the session. Since Democrats could bring this bill up earlier in this year's legislative session, Republicans may be unable to stop it with procedural tactics.

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