The Future of Elections in CT

April 25, 2021

Democrats, fueled by a big election win in 2020 that reversed the decade long trend of incremental Republican gains in the state house and senate, are poised to pass into law a massive list of progressive agenda items.

One issue that has not escaped them is big changes to how we conduct our election process in the Constitution State.  Democrats in Connecticut – and across the nation – want to expand voting in every conceivable way.  They are advocating for allowing criminals to vote, reducing the voting age to 16, radically expanding mail-in voting, blockchain technology that will lead to online voting, and even fines for not casting your ballot!

Despite legitimate and factual concerns and documented problems with elections in numerous states, they have willing participants in the news media and have done an incredible job at discrediting, smearing, and cancelling anyone who dares utter the words “voter fraud” as just another “Trumper” perpetuating the “big lie” that the 2021 Presidential election was stolen.  A disturbing consequence of our current political climate is just how easy it has become for them to conceal real policy concerns and mischaracterize opposing views by framing an entire issue as toxic based on some minimal association with former President Trump.

The truth about the upcoming constitutional amendments to our Connecticut state constitution is of course, much more complex.

Right now, they are laser focused on using their huge majorities to lock in the most expansive changes by amending our state constitution.


There are currently two major changes proposed to enable the following:

  1. A Constitutional Amendment To Enact Early Voting

Democrats want to enact a Constitutional change that removes the current requirement for one day of in-person voting to instead allow an unspecified and unlimited number of “early voting” days ahead of any election – leaving the currently Democratically controlled legislature to fill in the details.  No photo identification would be required and there will remain no audits of absentee balloting or votes cast by those using election day registration.  No additional funds are set aside for towns to accommodate staffing multi-day polling locations or the numerous other costs that will ultimately be passed on to local property taxpayers.

As the Ranking Member of the legislative committee that covers election law – and effectively the voice of the minority Republican party on the subject, I worked hard to find common ground with my colleagues and offered support for their early voting constitutional amendment – if they were also willing to compromise.  On March 5, 2021, I offered an amendment that would establish a period for early voting of three days within five days, enabling a Sun, Mon, Tues election, or Sat, Mon, Tues, or even Fri, Mon, Tues.  My amendment would also require that we enact a requirement that voting at the polls in person requires a photo id – something I know most people who live in well run small towns think is already the law – but definitely is not.  Unfortunately, my proposal failed on a party line vote.


  1. A Constitutional Amendment To Allow For “No Excuse” Absentee Ballot Voting

They also want to expand our current absentee voting process that allows for absentee ballots to be cast during the 45 days preceding election day because of absence from the city or town of which they are inhabitants or because of sickness, or physical disability or because the tenets of their religion forbid secular activity – as well as being away because of military service.  Under their revisions, anyone would be able to vote by mail-in ballot for any reason whatsoever.

That would certainly make voting more convenient but here again, the details are what matter.  Across the country, in states where they have similar provisions, state governments have also invested heavily in making sure that this process would be secure.  Photo ID, signature verification, audits, and ensuring the chain of custody of ballots are the norm.  Connecticut has NONE of these requirements.  Ballot harvesting by political candidates and their allies would be the norm in every community, not just our major cities.

Here again, I tried my best to find common ground with the majority.  At the same meeting I reference above, I offered support for amending our constitution to allow for no-excuse absentee voting as long as they pledged that we would include a signature verification system like those found in other states.  Once again, they refused and voted down my compromise on party lines.

Today, it is almost certain these two significant constitutional changes will pass our legislature with little fanfare.  The next step is that they will be voted on by you in the form of ballot questions.  It’s worth noting the Democrat majority will be writing the ballot questions also and you can be sure they will not include the details above.  They will be simplified to the point of asking if someone wants “free lunch.”  A question likely to receive a very positive result until we start specifying exactly what lunch consists of.

I will remain resolute in my job as the Republican Senator charged with being the minority voice on the committee that oversees changes to Connecticut’s election laws and administration.  There must be proper considerations made and precautions taken as we look to make sweeping changes to state election laws.  I will fight to make sure we have them.