Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will sign legislation to give Connecticut voters the chance to expand the use of absentee ballots. The bill, which passed the Senate late Wednesday and heads to his desk, will create a ballot question for next year’s statewide election, asking voters whether they want to change the state Constitution and allow the General Assembly to expand early voting opportunities. One of the measures planned by lawmakers is so-called no-excuse absentee ballots. Illness, age and out-of-town business are the main reasons for issuing absentee ballots, in provisions that date back 80 years.
The bill cleared the Senate along party lines, 22-14, after hours of debate and three failed Republican amendments. It passed the House last month. Last year, it was approved in both chambers, but not by the two-thirds margins needed to avoid the required approval this year, under the Constitution.
“I am always proud to vote for any bill that strengthens our democracy by allowing more people the chance to embrace their right to vote,” Sen. Anthony Musto, D-Trumbull, co-chairman of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, said after the final vote.