To the Editor:
September 20th is National Voter Registration Day, the day we celebrate a bedrock principle of our democracy — our right to self-governance through our vote. Connecticut is a leader in many respects — we are among the highest ranked states for health care access, worker productivity, and education — but we lag behind other states in access to the polls. This is in large part due to language in our State Constitution, now nearly two centuries old. We are 1 of only 4 states that do not offer early voting (the others are Alabama, Mississippi, and New Hampshire), and 1 of 15 that require a specific excuse for absentee voting. Many of us had the option to vote by absentee ballot during the pandemic, when our legislative and executive branches temporarily expanded access because of the COVD 19 pandemic. In Connecticut, 35% voted absentee in the 2020 presidential election, and it proved to be safe, convenient, and secure.
In the past two years, our General Assembly has worked to permit early voting and no-excuse absentee voting. The good news is that in November “we the people” will be able to vote on whether we want early voting in our state — something that would make it easier for our state’s many service workers, health care providers, and commuters to cast their ballots. It would also bring Connecticut in line with 46 other states. And if our legislators vote affirmatively on no-excuse absentee voting in the 2023 session, we could see that question put to voters in the future.
I believe voting should be accessible, convenient, and secure — and I want to elect legislators who believe the same. That’s why I am supporting Rachel Khanna for State Representative in the 149th District. Over the past two years, her opponent, Kimberly Fiorello, cast multiple votes (HB5262, HJ 58, HJ 59) against improving voter access — she even said no to letting voters decide about early voting. We should not give Kimberly Fiorello the chance to vote against our rights again. Please join me in voting for Rachel Khanna and in voting Yes on the early voting question on the November 8th ballot.