UPDATE: On Wednesday, May 31, the Connecticut Senate passed House Bill 5004. The bill heads to Gov. Ned Lamont (D) for his signature.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, May 4, the Connecticut House of Representatives passed House Bill 5004, a bill that would add 14 days of in-person early voting. Connecticut is one of only four states — along with Alabama, Mississippi and New Hampshire — that does not currently offer in-person early voting options for all voters. H.B. 5004 now heads to the Democratic-controlled state Senate.
During the 2022 midterm elections, Connecticut voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution that allows the state to enact in-person early voting. The amendment itself did not add the law to the books, but permitted the Connecticut Legislature to do so. There were at least six competing proposals before the Legislature to implement the voting reform with Secretary of State Stephanie Thomas (D) recommending 10 days of early voting.
Yesterday, the Legislature passed the most expansive proposal: Towns would be required to offer 14 days of in-person early voting before Election Day. Republican lawmakers proposed several amendments to shorten that time period, but all failed. According to Connecticut Insider, one successful last-minute change removed same-day registration during the early voting period for primaries, a move that is thought to benefit incumbent candidates. Fifteen Republicans ultimately joined all Democrats in voting in favor of the bill.
“We’ve sought the most expansive version that grants the most people the most flexibility to vote possible, while also seeking to ensure that the system is administrable,” said Connecticut House Speaker Matt Ritter (D).