Articles about voting issues in Connecticut.

Connecticut: Trump Panel Push For Voting Data Could Lead To More Connecticut Voter Privacy Protections | Hartford Courant

The push by President Donald Trump’s anti-voter-fraud commission to get huge amounts of voter data from across the nation could have unintended consequences in Connecticut: more state protections for registered voters’ personal information. Connecticut lawmakers and election officials say they will renew efforts to restrict public release of at least some of the personal information on voters that is now on file with the state. Many Connecticut voters are unaware that their dates of birth, home addresses, party affiliation, recent history of going to the polls and sometimes even telephone numbers are public information and easily available on the Internet. “It’s basically a ready-made, identification-theft kit,” said Dan Barrett, legal director of the Connecticut branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. Many states do have broad restrictions on how voter data can be released or used, but Connecticut only protects the addresses of law enforcement personnel and some types of crime victims. Read More

Connecticut: Trump Voter Fraud Panel Request For Information Gets Chilly Connecticut Reply | Hartford Courant

President Donald Trump’s special commission to investigate alleged voter fraud is asking Connecticut election officials for reams of personal data on all registered voters in the state and got a frosty reply from Secretary of the State Denise Merrill. “In the spirit of transparency, we intend to share publicly-available information with [President Trump’s] Kobach Commission while ensuring that the privacy of voters is honored by withholding protected data,” Merrill said in a public response Thursday. Letters from the new commission reportedly went out to all 50 states Wednesday requesting publicly available voter information, and information on “law, policies or other issues [that] hinder your ability to ensure the integrity of elections you administer.” Also, the commission asked for “convictions for election-related crimes” dating to the 2000 presidential election. Read More

Connecticut: Secretary of the State Makes Push For Early Voting | WSHU

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says it’s time Connecticut update its constitution to allow for early voting. She says early voting would address the 21st century needs of voters. “It reduces long lines on Election Day and it gives people multiple opportunities to vote. You know it’s a different world than it was 200 years ago and people are mobile and busy.” Merrill says that getting more people to vote is key to creating a healthy democracy. Read More

Connecticut: House tests limits of regulating ‘dark money’ | CT Mirror

On a partisan vote of 79 to 70, the House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday that could test the limits of the states’ ability to regulate campaign finances in the post-Citizens United era by imposing rules intended to end the use of untraceable dark money in Connecticut elections. Republicans opposed the reforms as insufficient, saying they fail to close loopholes that allow unlimited money to flow into publicly financed campaigns for state office, despite a promise by candidates participating in the voluntary program to abide by spending and contribution limits. Democrats rejected a series of GOP amendments that would have closed avenues that now allow donors to funnel money into legislative and other state races, such as the ability of state parties to make unlimited expenditures on behalf of candidates. Read More

Connecticut: House takes step on long road to early voting in Connecticut | CT Mirror

If early voting comes to Connecticut, it will be late — following at 37 other states and the District of Columbia. A sharply divided House of Representatives took a small step Tuesday toward putting the issue to a referendum vote, though not before 2020. The House voted 78 to 70, with two Republicans joining 76 Democrats, for a resolution authorizing a referendum on a constitutional amendment allowing early voting. Connecticut is a rarity: The terms for casting ballots early or by absentee ballot is dictated by the constitution. If passed by the Senate, the road to change still is long and uncertain. The General Assembly elected in 2018 would have to vote in 2019 for the same resolution if voters get to have their say in 2020. Even if approved at referendum, the constitutional amendment only would allow legislators to consider a bill permitting early voting in the 2021 session. Read More

Connecticut: Perillo proposes voter ID requirement | Shelton Herald

During an early evening session of the State House of Representatives, debating legislation aimed at advancing an amendment to the state’s constitution that permits early voting, Representative Jason Perillo (R-113) offered an amendment that would require those who cast votes in municipal, state and federal elections to present a valid photo ID to election officials that contains their name and address before casting their vote. Read More

Connecticut: “Dark money” targeted in partisan committee vote | Connecticut Post

In a partisan committee vote Monday night, a bill was approved that would shine light on so-called dark money, the anonymous political contributions usually bundled by out-of-state interests to influence statewide and legislative elections. Republicans think the majority should start campaign finance reforms in their own caucus, where a proliferation of individual PACs spread money throughout the recent state-election process. The Government Administration & Elections Committee, with a one-vote Democratic majority, pushed through legislation that would require corporations to disclose the votes of their boards of directors when they make political contributions and limit so-called independent expenditures to $70,000 a year. The bill passed 9-8, during the committee’s last meeting before its deadline. The legislation, which passed with no discussion after five-and-a-half hours of closed door caucusing by Republicans and Democrats, heads to the House. Read More

Connecticut: Lawmakers Consider Allowing Early Voting | Hartford Courant

Legislators debated Monday whether Connecticut should ease restrictions on absentee ballots and also join 37 other states by allowing early voting. Early voting is common around the country but has never become law in the Land of Steady Habits. To ease the restrictions, lawmakers are proposing two separate constitutional amendments for “no excuse” absentee ballots and early voting. In November 2014, Connecticut voters rejected a constitutional amendment on absentee ballots that asked them in a one-sentence question if the Constitution should be changed. Read More

Connecticut: Early voting initiative makes comeback | Connecticut Post

A push to bring early voting to Connecticut — and send long lines at many polling locations the way of mechanical voting machines — is regaining momentum. State Rep. William Tong, D-Stamford, this week introduced a bill, the first of the upcoming legislative session, to amend the state constitution to allow for early voting. A similar measure was defeated by voters in 2014 during a public referendum, despite support from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the state’s top election official, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, who are both Democrats. Tong said it’s high time that Connecticut join 37 other states that allow anyone to cast their ballots before the election, not just those who meet the guidelines for obtaining an absentee ballot. The initiative comes after a record 1.7 million ballots were cast statewide in the November election, with long lines observed in many municipalities such as Bridgeport, Stamford, Fairfield, Milford, Norwalk and Danbury. Read More

Connecticut: Glitches plague state election results website | Connecticut Post

The statewide debut of an election results website was marked by growing pains, including the deletion of tallies from Tuesday’s watershed presidential contest that forced the system to be temporarily shut down. This was the first time all 169 Connecticut municipalities were required to use the system, which cost the state between $350,000 and $450,000 as part of a broader technology upgrade. Participation had been voluntary for the presidential primary in April, and for the August primaries. From Bridgeport to Danbury to Greenwich, local registrars of voters reported multiple kinks in the system, from lost data to network crashes, and then being unable to log back in to complete their work. The registrars say that having a centralized website is more efficient than the past practice of faxing in the results to the state and waiting up to two days for the information to be posted. But the execution, they say, was a mess. Read More