Saying it’s time for Connecticut to join 39 other states, advocates started pushing Tuesday for a rare constitutional amendment to allow early voting. Unlike most states, Connecticut permits voting in person only on Election Day from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. While the final details are not set, an early voting system could potentially allow voting on the three weekends before Election Day. Voting would likely only be permitted at town halls in order to curtail the costs from opening every polling place around the state, lawmakers said. While Democrats in the state House of Representatives and Senate are pushing strongly for the measure, Republicans who have voted against the idea in the past are urging caution and saying state officials instead should be more concerned about voter fraud.
A similar constitutional amendment that was on the ballot in the gubernatorial election year of 2014 failed by 52 percent to 48 percent, but advocates say the wording was unclear and likely misunderstood.
“It was worded very awkwardly,” said Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, a Democrat who is the state’s chief elections officer. “I think they probably didn’t understand it. … But I don’t know.”