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Lamont in favor of extending no-excuse absentee voting, early voting

Gov. Ned Lamont voiced his support for expanding early in-person voting and no-excuse absentee voting -- at least through the 2022 midterm elections -- in a panel discussion on voting rights Friday. He spoke in favor of Senate Bill 184, which would legally extend the emergency policy implemented in 2020 that allowed any registered voter to request an absentee ballot due to risk of COVID-19.

He noted that the pandemic measure improved voter turnout in 2020 and said he hopes to continue to expand voter turnout -- one-third of Connecticut voters cast their vote using absentee ballots.

“More people voted than ever before, they could vote safely, and it made it easier for them to vote. We can do that for this fall as well, because there may be just one more flu/COVID spike-up,” Lamont said.

Lamont did not comment on House Bill 5262, which would amend the constitution to authorize no-excuse absentee voting permanently -- and would therefore require 75% of the state House and Senate to vote to approve the measure.

The Conservative Caucus released a press release Tuesday to state their disapproval of both bills. The statement argued that either bill would violate the state constitution, and that “using COVID-19 as a continuing pretext to unconstitutionally change our voting laws would be an abhorrent afront [sic] to the rule of law.”

Lamont also voiced his support for a referendum on the ballot this fall that would permanently amend the state’s constitution to allow for early voting in-person -- a measure that voters have been pushing for since before the pandemic.

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