absentee ballots

Governor Encourages Use of Absentee Ballots Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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The governor is promoting the use of absentee ballots for the primary election in August and held a news conference about it this afternoon as well as to push for lawmakers to pass legislation that will allow for voters to have the opportunity to use absentee ballots for the general election in November.

Gov. Ned Lamont was in Windsor and is encouraging the state legislature to pass a law that would give voters the ability to use absentee ballots during the general election in November “as a means of social distancing.”

"You don't know what next week will bring, never mind November," Lamont said.

The governor said voters need to be able to vote and to be able to vote safely.

Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and other state and local officials attended the news conference outside of Windsor Town Hall.

The Secretary of State has sent an application for an absentee ballot to registered Democrats and Republicans. That is the first step in the process.

Voters who sent the application back will get an absentee ballot from the local city or town clerk's office and must fill that out and send it back for the vote to be counted.

Bysiewicz said protections and many checks against voter fraud are in place and town officials will be checking the absentee ballot applications to verify information and ballots will be counted in public. .

"Voter fraud is extremely rare in our country," Bysiewicz said.

The primary will be on Aug. 11 and the governor called upon younger residents to consider working at polling locations and to contact the local registrar of voters to learn about opportunities.

You can access information about the election on the Secretary of the State's website here.

Absentee ballots are part of the special session, which begins today, and a  listening session will start at 2 p.m. today in the Government Administration and Elections Committee on the wider use of absentee ballots in the November election.

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Some Republicans claim that voting by mail increases fraud, but the evidence just doesn’t support those claims. So what’s the disconnect?

On Monday, the state Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit challenging the secretary of state’s plan for sending out absentee ballots.

On Monday, Attorney General William Tong argued before the Connecticut Supreme Court to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the state’s absentee ballot provisions and a notice on the state judicial website says the motion to dismiss Mary Fay et al v. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill was granted and the hearing that was scheduled for Wednesday has been canceled.

CT News Junkie reports that some Republican Congressional candidates argued that it would be unconstitutional for Merrill to send the ballots out.

"Executive officials are desperately trying to avoid having the constitutionality of their actions reviewed. Individuals who are unable to appear at the polls because of illness or disability are allowed to vote by absentee ballot under the Constitution. Neither the Secretary of the State nor the Governor may ignore the Constitution and unilaterally create no-excuse absentee voting for everyone. Only Connecticut’s citizens can amend the Constitution. The plaintiffs brought this action in order to enforce the Constitution and to protect the integrity of our elections. We will continue in our efforts to have a court determine whether the Secretary and the Governor have acted unlawfully," the attorney for the plaintiff's in the case said in a statement on Monday night.

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