HARTFORD-Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), John Larson (CT-1), Joe Courtney (CT-2), Jim Himes (CT-4), and Jahana Hayes (CT-5) today announced that Connecticut would receive almost $5.4 million in federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“Every Connecticut citizen deserves to be able to cast their ballot and make their voice heard in an election that remains free, fair, and safe,” said Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation. “It is critical that we work to provide the resources that Connecticut election officials need to deliver the election that Connecticut citizens deserve. That’s why we fought to make sure this funding was passed in the CARES Act, and it is why we will keep fighting until our state and local election officials have every resource they need to expand mail in voting, protect poll workers and voters, and secure the 2020 election.”
“No one should have to choose between protecting their health and casting a ballot. This funding is a good start in providing what we need to run our 2020 elections in the face of the coronavirus,” said Secretary Merrill. “With the proposed loosening of restrictions on absentee ballots, this funding would be able to pay for an expansion of voting by mail in every town, securing the health and safety of poll workers and voters alike in our polling places, and enhance the security of balloting by providing the resources necessary for our towns to collect, store, and count ballots securely.”
The CARES Act, passed on March 25th by the Senate and March 27th by the House, provides for $400 million dollars in funding, appropriated to states based on population, to prepare for, and respond to, coronavirus for the 2020 Federal election cycle. The coronavirus emergency and concerns over election security are forcing states to take new measures to protect the integrity of voting systems and access to the ballot box, requiring more funds and prompting calls for further Congressional and state action. Secretary Merrill has asked Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont to use his emergency powers to issue an executive order removing restricting language from the absentee ballot statute so that people can vote by mail if they want to avoid a polling place due to the coronavirus emergency.