Sen. Hwang Votes for Increased Voter Access by Supporting Early Voting Measure in CT Senate

May 31, 2023

For Immediate Release

Sen. Hwang Votes for Increased Voter Access
by Supporting Early Voting Measure in CT Senate

Sen. Tony Hwang on May 30 voted in favor of both a constitutional resolution to enable voters to decide whether to amend the state constitution to allow no-excuse absentee voting and began the process of early voting policies and procedures.

“Voting is one of the greatest gifts of democracy,” Sen. Hwang said.  “Integrity, trust and confidence needs to be unconditional in the electoral process. Ultimately, voters should be allowed to decide who represents them. The fundamental right to vote is precious, and I believe we should be looking at removing potential barriers to voter participation and good citizenship.”

House Joint Resolution 1 puts the question before the people of Connecticut and gives them the freedom to choose how they vote without the need for criteria for excused absentee voting.  The passage of the resolution will result in the following question being placed on ballots that Section 7 of article sixth of the Constitution is amended to allow no excuse absentee voting:

“Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to permit the General Assembly to allow each voter to vote by absentee ballot?”

Currently, residents can only obtain an absentee ballot for specific reasons, including sickness, physical disability, serving overseas in the United States military, and a voter’s absence from the municipality on the day of the vote or the tenets of their religion forbid secular activity.

“This constitutional resolution creates the opportunity to increase voter turnout and participation,” Sen. Hwang said. “However, we need to be cautious in not letting one-party rule dictate voter policies. We must work diligently to ensure that all perspectives and concerns are addressed in order to implement a voting system that works best for the people of Connecticut.  Most importantly, we, as representative legislators, must create a new voting process that respects, represents and reflects safeguarding the integrity and sanctity of one person, one vote.”

The State Senate deliberated and voted to begin the process of implementing “Early Voting” that was approved by Connecticut voters in November 2022.

“This is a critical and important moment for expanded voting access in Connecticut. Early voting, if executed properly with safeguards for security and respect for one person, one vote, will ensure all eligible voters have the flexibility they need to exercise their voting rights and have their voice heard,” said Sen. Hwang. “Although I supported the measure, I had hoped for better bipartisan collaboration in accepting some practical Republican amendments.  These common sense amendments offered to fully ensure that early voting will be conducted with integrity, efficiency and public accountability. I ask that we, as a state, provide the necessary and needed funding to support our municipal town clerks and registrar of voters and not impose an unfunded mandate on local taxpayers.”

The early voting legislation, House Bill 5004, must next be signed into law by Governor Lamont. House Joint Resolution 1, will next appear on the ballot in the 2024 general election for a majority of Connecticut voters to decide whether it becomes law.

 Senator Hwang, Chief Deputy Republican Senate Leader, represents the 28th Senate District which includes Fairfield, Southport, Easton, Newtown, Sandy Hook and portions of Bethel. Sen. Hwang is a former ranking leader on the Government Administration and Elections Committee, where he worked on no excuse absentee voting legislation.