WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) authored an op-ed for the Hartford Courant to make the case for a minimum of 14-days of early voting in Connecticut. Murphy argues that we should seize this opportunity following the constitutional amendment to make it easier for more people to cast their ballot and ensure Connecticut is no longer among the states with the most restrictive voting laws in the country.
“With few exceptions, blue states and red states allow for citizens to vote over the course of multiple days prior to the election or to vote by mail. But here in Connecticut — the Land of Steady Habits — we have become an electoral backwater, one of the few states where voters have little choice than to vote on Election Day,” Murphy wrote.
Murphy continued: “This makes no sense, and last November, Connecticut voters said so. In the 2022 election, a whopping 60% of voters in Connecticut supported amending the state constitution to allow early voting in elections. The legislature has been given a clear, strong mandate to update Connecticut’s voting laws and make it easier for Connecticut citizens to vote.”
Murphy advocated for a minimum of 14 days, while noting that the average number of early voting days in other states is 23 days: “We shouldn’t settle for a mediocre right to vote early. Fourteen days of early voting should be the bare minimum the state legislature accepts. In our high cost state, hundreds of thousands of voters work jobs with inconvenient, unpredictable hours and long commutes, so it’s crucial that we include early morning, evening, and weekend hours. We also need to make sure voting sites are convenient and accessible, especially for people living with disabilities and in communities of color where voters often face longer lines on Election Day.”
On the cost of implementation, Murphy wrote: “Surveying other states’ experiments will show us how important it is to avoid an unfunded mandate to the municipalities. Cost in this first year will be the biggest obstacle facing cities and towns, and it’s crucial the state budget includes enough funding to support early voting operations. A poorly funded early law would undermine the potential to get more Connecticut voters to the polls in 2024 than ever before.”
Murphy concluded: “There is nothing more fundamental to American democracy than the right to vote. Implementing early voting will require time and money, but there are few investments more worthwhile. Connecticut voters have spoken. It’s time to get the job done.”
Read the full op-ed here.