Connecticut voters overwhelmingly approved early in-person voting, capping a years-long effort to expand ballot access in a state with some of the strictest election laws in the country. In addition to races for governor, Congress, state legislature, and other statewide offices, there was also a question on the ballot this year asking voters whether the state constitution should be amended to allow for early voting. About 60 percent, or 674,002 voters, said yes, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of the State. Connecticut\u2019s constitution currently limits in-person voting to Election Day. Now what happens? When the General Assembly convenes next year, legislators will start crafting a bill to establish an early voting system here. Connecticut is one of only four states without early voting, including New Hampshire, Alabama, and Mississippi. State rules for early in-person voting range, with the average start date 30\u00a0days before the election, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The hours and days polls are open for early voting range with twenty-three states and the District of Columbia allow some weekend early voting, according to NCSL. The state\u2019s localized election system \u2013 with voting administered by officials in 169 cities and towns\u00a0\u2013 complicates the process. \u201cMunicipalities are going to be very nervous about the cost and security and ability to do this,\u201d said House Speaker Matt Ritter, D-Hartford. \u201cSo, we\u2019ve really got to work closely with them.\u201d A small town like Bethlehem, with a population of less than 4,000 residents, may be able to navigate the shift more easily than a city like Hartford, home to more than 120,000 residents. Ritter said he\u2019s heard \u201csome talk\u201d of allowing early voting for 60 days but he said that\u2019s \u201cway too far before an election.\u201d While the details will be hashed out during the 2023 legislative session, Ritter said he thinks allow Connecticut voters to cast ballots in person two to three weeks before an election is a more realistic timeline \u2013 keeping in mind existing voting laws including when absentee ballots can be printed. House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora, R-Branford, said he\u2019d like to see a shorter timeframe starting the Saturday before the election. \u201cI think the weekend should be sufficient,\u201d he said. Both Candelora and Ritter said it\u2019s possible an early voting system would be in place in Connecticut by next year\u2019s municipal elections, but the 2024 presidential election seems more likely. \u201cI\u2019m confident we\u2019ll have it by 2024,\u201d said Cheri Quickmire,executive director of Common Cause in Connecticut, the election watchdog among the groups pushing for expanding ballot access. A similar effort to expand state voting opportunities\u00a0failed in 2014. Former Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, spearheaded this year\u2019s effort, attributed the success this time to a broader coalition of supporters, as well as expansion of absentee ballot eligibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a major education campaign, involving about 1,000 volunteers, to make voters aware of the referendum on early voting. "Its time had come," Merrill said. Merrill said the Secretary of the State\u2019s Office has been working on a survey analyzing the 46 states that already offer early voting. That report will be ready for Secretary of the State-elect Stephanie Thomas when she takes office, Merrill said. "There's lots of models to look at." Some states don\u2019t open all their polling places and instead offer early voting at town halls. That could address concerns around cost, she said. There\u2019s also the possibility of smaller towns sharing services. \u201cIt doesn\u2019t have to cost more money,\u201d she said.