Early voting makes voting more accessible to all voters, especially those who face barriers getting to the polls.



Why do we need early voting here in Connecticut?

What is this bill?

This bill ensures the legislature implements early voting for Connecticut residents.

group of individuals casting their ballot at the polls

This bill is to ensure the legislature implements early voting for Connecticut residents. Early voting makes voting more accessible to all voters, especially those who face barriers to getting to the polls. Early voting options must reflect the needs of working people, especially working parents, elderly and disabled people, and all busy Connecticut voters. We intend to make it happen.

What would we like from this bill?

What we must include to ensure early voting options are equitable and accessible.

a person wearing a grey jacket smiling and giving a thumbs up. the person is wearing an "i voted" sticker.
  1. At least 14 days of early voting in the 30 days before Election Day.
  2. At least one Saturday and one Sunday early voting day.
  3. Poll sites with consistent hours inclusive of evening and early morning hours.
  4. An equitable distribution of polling locations across the state that are close to public transportation and ADA accessible.
  5. Although Connecticut offers election day registration, there is currently a seven day gap between the deadline for registration prior to the election and when a voter can register at the polls. It is essential to close this gap by ensuring that it is possible to register to vote during every day that early voting sites are open.

Why do we support expansive, inclusive early voting?

Connecticut voters deserve a chance to vote early.

several smaller faces making up larger faces that represent a variety of skin tones.
  1. Expanding voting gives more equitable access to the ballot box
  2. Early voting allows people more time to get to the polls
  3. Early voting is a racial justice issue, a women’s rights issue, an LGBTQ+ rights issue, an economic justice issue, and a disability rights issue.
  4. The average number of early voting days across the country is 23. The three states that require less than two weeks of early voting consistently experience abysmal early voting turnout. Connecticut voters deserve a real chance to vote early if we want it.

How can I support inclusive, accessible early voting?

Interested in supporting this bill? Learn how here!

a podium with 2 microphones

You can email or call your legislator to tell them to support inclusive, accessible early voting. You can find your legislator and their contact information on the Connecticut General Assembly website.

There will be two opportunities to testify:

  1. On February 16 at 6 p.m. after the governor submits his proposed budget, General Government Subcommittee B will meet to discuss funding for bills like early voting that come through the General Government B subcommittee. There will be no specific early voting bill raised at this time, but there will be opportunity to submit testimony generally in support of funding inclusive, accessible early voting. Read the ACLU of Connecticut's testimony about early voting funding.
  2. In early March, the Government and Elections Committee will hold a hearing on early voting. This will be an opportunity to submit legislative testimony in support of inclusive, accessible early voting. 
  3. For both hearings, you can testify in person, virtually via zoom, or with written testimony only. Stay tuned for more information from us on how to testify on this bill.


Need more evidence to support early voting? Look no further.

group of people at a polling location. Two are seated, chatting. Two are actively filling out ballots.
  1. Connecticut is only one of four states with no early voting and only one of 15 without no-excuse absentee voting. Connecticut’s restrictive voting options exacerbate stress on our underfunded election systems.
  2. All states in the Northeast that have early voting have more than three or four 4 days of early voting, and the average number of early voting days across the country is 23. A low number of days would mean early voting is not accessible for the majority of busy Connecticut voters, especially Black and Latinx voters, elderly and disabled voters, voters who are low-income and who work multiple jobs or jobs with unpredictable schedules, and parents, LGBTQ+ voters, and women.
  3. Benefits of accessible, inclusive early voting include:
    • Reducing stress on the voting system on Election Day: when there are more days available to vote, election administration is easier. Wait times to vote are distributed over several days rather than one, which benefits both voters and poll workers. One study of early voting in New Mexico found that the average wait time for the 2012 election was less than five minutes during the early voting period, but around sixteen minutes on election day.
    • Increased voter satisfaction: When voters can choose a day and time that does works with their work and family obligations, waiting in line is less of an obstacle.
    • Improved poll worker performance: Extending early voting periods allows election workers to gain additional experience, aiding them in becoming more efficient at handling higher volumes of voters during Election Day.
    • Prevention and correction of errors: A longer early voting period provides more opportunity to discover and correct problems at the polling site before the polls close. This also means more time to run and recalibrate voting machines, re-check electronic systems, and fine-tune poll site management. 
    • Greater access to voting and increased voter satisfaction.
    • These benefits are only possible if early voting is accessible, inclusive, and expansive – not if it is restricted to days, times, or locations that leave voters out.
  4. In Connecticut, voters in majority Black areas wait, on average, more than 9 minutes longer than voters in majority white areas when they vote. If done right, early voting can reduce these wait times by reducing the crowd on Election Day.
  5. Over the last 10 years, voting precincts in predominantly Black and Latinx cities in Connecticut have faced long lines because of poll worker and ballot shortages, including some that required the courts to intervene.  If done right, early voting can reduce these wait times by reducing the crowd on Election Day and by helping to catch any problems early. 
    • Right now, some Connecticut lawmakers are proposing only a handful of days for early voting. Oklahoma is most similar to what some Connecticut lawmakers are proposing. Oklahoma allows only three days of early voting (Friday, Saturday, and Monday before the election). The percent turnout of early voting in Oklahoma was merely 7.8 percent in 2008, much lower than the national average. If Connecticut implements a system that provides merely three or four days of early voting, it is unlikely that the policy would meaningfully help improve people’s access to the ballot. 
    • The majority of states with in-person early voting offer weekend voting options on one or both weekend days. Weekends are critical for Connecticut voters whose work, childcare, or transportation needs make weekday voting inaccessible.
    • Three states with in-person early voting run elections at the municipal level, like we do in Connecticut. Maine and Vermont mandates one early voting location per municipality, while Massachusetts requires at least one location per municipality.

Testimony, Letters, and Other Resources

Here's what we and others are saying about inclusive early voting.

A purple yard sign, with green and white text, says, "vote YES for early voting November 8." the ACLU-CT Rise PAC logo is at the bottom. behind are a street and sidewalk, with autumn leaves scattered around

To make inclusive early voting happen, legislators will need to fully fund it. Read the ACLU of Connecticut's Appropriations Committee testimony about funding for early voting.

It's important that the legislator hear your support for early voting. We make it easy by providing an example of what your written testimony in support of early voting could look like. You can submit your version of written testimony in support of early voting to the Government Administration and Elections Committee through the Connecticut General Assembly website

Early voting has to be accessible, equitable, and inclusive. Learn more in our op-ed in Hearst CT papers.