Connecticut elected a Democratic governor this year, but Tuesday was a bittersweet night for many state Democrats as Question 1, also known as the Early Voting Amendment, failed at the polls. The amendment, which garnered only 47.5 percent of the vote, would have allowed the General Assembly to expand access to absentee ballots and eliminate most restrictions on early voting in the state. Connecticut is currently one of only 13 states not to allow any form of early voting, whether by mail or in person. Throughout the country, early voting has often proved a partisan issue. Democrats tend to gain from early voting, as demographics more likely to lean Democratic are typically the beneficiaries of early voting. The amendment’s failure in the Nutmeg State did not come as a complete shock to many Connecticut residents and Yale students. Mila Rostain ’17, a member of the Yale College Democrats who had been involved with the push for the amendment, said she was not surprised by its defeat. “The people whom it helps are exactly the people who don’t come out in the midterm elections,” Mila said. The amendment would largely aid ethnic minorities and those with low incomes, for whom voting is typically more difficult, she said, but those groups tend not to vote en masse in midterm elections.
Jacob Wasserman ’16, the Dems’ Legislative Coordinator, concurred. He said the amendment will likely do better in a presidential election year, when turnout for Democrats is typically higher than in midterm years. He added that he expects to see the amendment on the ballot again.
Not all agreed with that reasoning. The reasons for the amendment’s defeat were twofold, according to Gary Rose, chairman of the Department of Government and Politics at Sacred Heart University.
He identified the unclear language of the amendment as one of the main factors in its defeat.
“The ambiguity of the amendment lends itself to some people pulling back because they didn’t know what it meant,” he said.
Vincent Mauro, the New Haven town chair of the Democratic Party, echoed that sentiment. He said that the amendment’s ambiguity confused many voters — a phenomenon that Rose, Wasserman and Rostain also noted.
Full Article: Early voting amendment fails | Yale Daily News.