Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today convened an Election Performance Task Force to review Connecticut’s election system and recommend improvements.
“The mission of this task force is to review our current election system, evaluate its effectiveness and recommend changes to improve and modernize the system,” says Merrill, Connecticut’s top elections official. “We need to look at our system from the perspective of the average voter. For example, is there a way to improve their experience at the polls? Do voters want more convenience? We also plan to look at new, innovative technologies that could make life easier for our local officials.”
“We need to imagine what the voting experience can be like five or ten years from now if we make the right decisions today,” Merrill said.
The task force began its work with a discussion of baseline data on voter registration and turnout rates, as well as a review of Connecticut’s current elections system. The review covered the roles of registrars of voters, town clerks, the Office of the Secretary of the State and the State Elections Enforcement Commission in Connecticut’s decentralized elections system. Merrill asked the group to consider a number of questions including: Why do certain individuals choose not to vote? Why are there turnout disparities among various populations? Are there barriers to registration and voting that discourage people? What is working in other states to improve participation and why?
Merrill said the group will study potential reforms including online voter registration, Election Day or “same day” registration, absentee ballot reform, mail-in voting, regional voting centers and changes designed to bring more consistency to the system across town and city lines.
At its next meeting, the task force will view demonstrations of new voting and elections administration technology.
All task force meetings will be open to the public and may be viewed on CT-N. The Office of the Secretary of the State will be posting information about the task force on its web site at www.ct.gov/sots.