As an organization committed to the liberties guaranteed by our Constitution, the ACLU-CT strongly supports a free and fair voting system to uphold the foundational cornerstone of our democracy: the right to vote. We therefore support these measures, which would provide more people with the opportunity to participate in elections in Connecticut.
We support liberty, justice, and equality for all, including equal access to the ballot box. By providing more people with the chance to make their voices heard, Election Day registration and Primary Day registration uphold these critical democratic principles. Turning Election Day and Primary Day registrants away from voting, however, reduces the number of Connecticut residents who can vote and weakens our democracy. It disproportionately harms minorities, immigrants, the poor, and people who live in cities.
To be clear, current Connecticut law already allows anyone in line to register to vote by 8 p.m. on Election Day to cast a ballot that day. As there was confusion around this issue in the 2018 general election in our state and the Secretary of the State issued incorrect guidance to registrars in 2016, however, it is clear that Connecticut law would benefit from the additional clarity that House Bill 5818 would provide.