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Grade TL;DR

When many states opted to make it harder for its citizens to vote in 2021 and 2022, the Connecticut General Assembly took the opposite approach and passed a number of pro-voter initiatives including AVR, early voting and expanding absentee voting. In 2021, the state passed two pro-voter resolutions, one of which made it to the ballot in 2022 and was approved by voters. The other, which establishes no-excuse absentee voting, has to be voted on again by the Legislature in 2023 before it can make it to the ballot for voters to decide in 2024. Though this is seen as a crucial step forward for no-excuse absentee voting, it has yet to have an impact on voters, which is why Connecticut was given an A- on this year’s progress report.

Looking Back

Where Connecticut Started in 2020

  • Automatic Voter Registration: Hard Stop
  • Online Voter Registration: DMV ID
  • Same-Day Registration: No
  • Restoration of Rights: Parole Disenfranchisement
  • Vote by Mail: Excuse-Only
  • Electronic Registration Information Center Participation: Yes
  • Early Voting Opportunities: No
  • ID Requirements: ID Requested, but Not Required

Relying on the Cost of Voting Index for Connecticut as of 2020, we considered the state a middle tier state for pre-existing voting policy and compared its 2021-22 activity against other middle tier states.

How Our Tier Compares:

  • COVI (2020): 20th
  • EPI Score (2020): 20th
  • CLC State Scorecard (2022): 6/10
  • MAP Democracy Rating (2022): FAIR

2021: Two Years Ago

Legislative Action

During the 2021 session, the Assembly successfully passed a resolution to the constitutional right to early voting, as well as a resolution to put no-excuse absentee voting on the ballot in 2024 in the hopes of amending the state constitution.

  • HJR 59 is a proposed amendment to the Connecticut Constitution that allows the legislature to create in-person early voting during a future legislative session. It was passed by voters during the 2022 general election.
  • HJR 58 is a proposed amendment to the Connecticut Constitution that allows the Legislature to establish no-excuse absentee voting in the future. This resolution has the potential to be voted on again by the Legislature in 2023 and then be placed on the ballot for voters to decide in 2024.

During the second special session, the Assembly passed several pro-voter provisions as part of the state budget bill.

  • S 1202 creates front-end automatic voter registration at state-designated voter registration agencies, automatically restores the right-to-vote for citizens immediately after they are released from incarceration, and expressly allows the use of drop boxes beyond the temporary 2020 allowance.

2022: This Past Year

Legislative Action

During the 2022 session, the Assembly continued to pass pro-voter policies.

  • H 5262 expands the list of absentee voting excuses and broadens the definitions of existing excuses to more easily allow eligible voters to cast absentee ballots.

Implementation/Administrative Action

  • Connecticut implemented automatic voter registration at the DMV. The secretary of state’s office additionally reviewed other state agencies for viability to integrate streamlined voter registration processes in the future for customers.