Early Voting Proposal Clears Connecticut House

State lawmakers are moving closer toward changing Connecticut's constitution to allow people to cast their ballots before Election Day.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted 78-70 in favor of the proposed constitutional amendment. It now awaits action in the Senate.

Voters will be asked in 2020 to approve such a change if both chambers pass the bill again next year by a simple majority. The bill needed 114 votes Tuesday for the question to automatically appear on the 2019 ballot.

While the bill allows the General Assembly to determine the details of early voting, it provides an overall framework, such as limits on when the voting can occur.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says Connecticut will join the majority of other states if it ultimately allows early voting.

Rep. William Tong (D-Stamford, Darien), who introduced legislation on early voting from which the measure was inspired, praised the decision.  

"With dozens of other states already allowing early voting, it is time that we give that same right to the people of Connecticut,” Tong said in a statement. “Early voting will help decrease long lines on Election Day and encourage more eligible voters to make their voices heard. Our democracy will become stronger if we have more people turn out to vote."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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