Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced her legislative proposals Thursday, two of which require constitutional amendments allowing for a minimum of three days of early voting before Election Day and allowing 16-year-olds to register early to vote. The proposal to allow 16-year-olds to register two years before their 18th birthday would require them to visit the Department of Motor Vehicles, but Merrill said she envisions allowing them to register at school, their town hall, or anywhere voters can register. Merrill, a Democrat, said 16-year-olds usually have their first interaction with the DMV when getting their driver’s licenses, and her proposed amendment would make it more likely that younger people are involved in the voting process as soon as they turn 18.
She has been a long-time proponent of amending the state’s constitution to allow at least three days of early voting prior to Election Day, which Merrill said would ease some of the pressure on those staffing the polls.
“Connecticut citizens deserve the best run elections in the United States,” Merrill said. “Although Connecticut has consistently been ranked as having among the best managed elections in the country, there is room for improvement. From early voting to allowing 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote at the DMV, we are committed to ensuring that every eligible person in Connecticut can easily register, and every registered voter can conveniently vote.”