Since the beginning of 2013, at least 30 states have proposed laws that would curtail voting rights or make voting more difficult. Just one troubling example: In North Carolina, the General Assembly is attempting to cut early voting hours, same-day voter registration, and introduce laws that would shrink the electorate. This is a state that the famous journalist John Gunther once referred to as “the most progressive southern state.” This is a trend that Connecticut cannot afford to follow. Connecticut has always been a leader when it comes to improving and expanding access to democracy. The state’s recently enacted online voter registration and same-day voter registration rules make it easier for more citizens to cast their votes. In addition, the government-backed Citizens Election Program reduces the impact of money on politics and helps ensure elections reflect the will of the voters. All these moves should be applauded.
But one proposal that is moving forward in the Connecticut General Assembly is a major step backwards that would limit the rights and influence of voters. The bill, which would ban cross-endorsement, has already moved through one legislative committee. Our lawmakers should not allow this bad idea to advance any further.
Under the cross-endorsement system, familiar to most Connecticut voters, a minor party will sometimes endorse another party’s candidate. This gives voters who support a minor party’s point of view a way to express their values without feeling like their votes are irrelevant. Without cross-endorsement, voters are left with fewer ways to cast a meaningful vote.
Protecting voting rights isn’t just essential to some of Connecticut’s ethnic and racial communities, it is essential to all of Connecticut’s voters across parties and affiliations — especially political minorities. In 2012, more than 80,000 voters in Connecticut cast their votes for cross-endorsed candidates on minor party ballot lines. There is simply no justification for limiting the rights of citizens who happen to support the views of minor parties.
Full Article: State must not roll back voting statutes – Connecticut Post.