Lamont asked to support more voter registration
A statewide voter-and-consumer advocacy group is asking Gov. Ned Lamont to promote legislation that would automatically register hundreds of thousands of potentially new voters.
Tom Swan, executive director of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group, has sent Lamont a letter requesting that Automatic Voter Registration be included in the special session of the General Assembly tentatively scheduled for the week of September 23.
“Governor Lamont took an important step by proposing voting reforms earlier this year,” Swan said of the CCAG’s new five-figure digital advertising campaign on social media and the Internet. “Now, he has the opportunity to put our state on the right side of history by including them in an upcoming special session.”
Long lines at some towns and city halls delayed voters for hours as people waited to register and vote last November, including seven-hour waits in New Haven.
An AVR law, which is already in use in 19 states, passed the state House of Representatives this year but failed in the Senate on the last day of the legislative session. The Department of Motor Vehicles has been registering voters since 2016, but does not register those without licenses.
“We think it should be beyond the DMV,” said Cheri Quickmire, executive director of Common Cause in Connecticut, the election watchdog. Under AVR, colleges, universities and state agencies including the Department of Social Services, who engage people eligible to vote, could become involved. There are as many as 250,000 state residents who are eligible but unregistered, Quickmire said.
Negotiations on the extent of items for the upcoming special session have been off-and-on during the summer, as lawmakers and the governor continue to haggle over highway tolls; a settlement on a multi-million-dollar lawsuit with state hospitals; and legislation on long-term capital projects called the bond package.
email@example.com Twitter: @KenDixonCT