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We need mail-in absentee ballots now in Connecticut!

State Rep. Lucy Dathan (D-142).

Today, the House of Representatives took up a critical bill that will help protect the right to vote for all residents in our state in the General Election. I am pleased to announce that this measure passed largely on a bipartisan basis with 144 voting in favor and two against.

Earlier this year, Governor Ned Lamont issued an Executive Order which provided every voter with the option to vote by mail. Unfortunately, the order only applied to the state’s primary elections on Aug 11th, 2020.  With the dangers of the current pandemic looming over our nation, it is important to protect the right to vote for the November general election, especially for those most vulnerable.  Without this option, we might be forcing possibly immuno-compromised voters to choose between their health and their constitutional right. According to a recent Politico/Morning Consult poll, most Americans agree, as approximately 75% of respondents supported mail-in voting during the Coronavirus Pandemic. 

While COVID-19 doesn’t distinguish amongst its victims along party lines, mail-in voting or “No-Excuse” absentee ballots has become a political issue. Ignoring the sentiment of the majority of Americans, Republican officials on the federal level vehemently deny the benefits of mail-in voting. Two Connecticut Republican lawmakers, Rep. Jason Perillo and Senator Eric Berthel, were members of a group suing to block Connecticut’s voting plan, citing the common partisan rhetoric that allowing mail-in voting increases the likelihood of voter fraud.*

The facts say otherwise: Of the five states (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington) that have held mail-only elections, the average voting fraud per capita is almost halved in comparison to states who do not allow mail-in voting, or states like Connecticut who require an excuse for absentee balloting.

I believe Connecticut should learn from the other states’ experience, and implement No-Excuse absentee ballots for all of our elections. No-Excuse permits any registered voter to submit an absentee ballot application and receive one without having to explain why. This may seem radical to some, but Connecticut is currently 1 of only 17 states that do not permit this option, while 27 others do.  This bill does not expand absentee voting permanently, but does so for the upcoming general election.

Outside of the pandemic setting, Connecticut authorizes the use of an absentee ballot for one of six reasons: Active service in the Armed Forces, absence from town during all of the hours of voting, illness, religious beliefs, duties as an election official, and/or physical disability.

By allowing mail-in voting during this pandemic, we keep Connecticut and its citizens on track to eliminate this virus and protect our elderly voters as well as the integrity of our elections. We could expand on this for the future.

By allowing No-Excuse ballots, we can also increase voter turnout exponentially and ensure a thriving democracy where the voices of the people are heard. A 2013 study of voters in Washington by Yale and the University of California, San Diego, found that voting by mail increased turnout by two to four percentage points, with low-participating voters more likely to be influenced than others. As established before, this higher voter turnout doesn’t necessarily translate into voter fraud.

The world after the Coronavirus Pandemic will never be the same as the world before, and it shouldn’t be. Connecticut has always been a leader in guaranteeing individual rights, after all, we are known as “the Constitution State.” Let’s show leadership in the national conversation regarding mail-in voting and allow No-Excuse ballots right here at home.

The next step will be for the Senate to vote next week on this bill and then it will be sent to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.
*As of this writing, the legal challenge was rejected by the State Supreme Court but other suits and counter suits are still being waged.

13 comments

CT-Patriot July 24, 2020 at 8:29 am

Here we go once again. Democrats big push for mail in ballots that have been proven time after time of fraud, ballots not counted, ballots rejected, ballots tampered with, ballot “lost”, ballot harvesting, ballot manufacturing and more.

If it’s so darn safe from fraud or lack of a real count, then why are there numerous reports from major firms, academia, news outlets, government offices on just how much mail in ballots are a slippery slope towards true and accurate results.

Since the whole Covid virus alert went out, I still see the same people at grocery stores, major retailers, gas stations, banks etc.

The virus is not intelligent, it does not lay waiting for citizens out at polling locations to cast their vote, it does not jump out of the bushes to scare you, but in reality, it’s the Democratic party who are scaring the bejesus out of citizens when it comes time to cast your ballot.

If you are reading this, chances are you are healthy, Covid free and have been going about your business albeit with additional precautions but generally, nothing has changed in daily functions.

Democrats will never let a crisis go to waste. And this one has them fixated in changing the election. Next will be the elimination of the Electoral college system, mark my word.

Right now, we all must protect our Republic and how voting is done.

Mail in ballots are not ready and may never really be. Look, we still have issues with voting in person and voting devices, so with that said, why in Gods name would we go mail in? It’s not ready, Democrats are highly motivated to push this agenda that it’s fine.

Bottom line, just go to your polling location. The only scary thing there are politicians hovering like vultures for you vote.

You will be fine.

Drew Ablank July 24, 2020 at 9:39 am

Given low voter turnout/apathy – I’ve never had to wait in a line and the only people crowding me have been the last minute larry politicians begging for a vote – what’s the big deal? polls open early enough giving the few who turn out q chance to cast their vote, in fact it should be the politicians that should be required to abstain from lingering outside the polls this election cycle

carol July 24, 2020 at 10:44 am

absolutely not,you go to the supermarket and other stores you can vote in person. worse thing they can do is mail in votes. NO NO NO .

CT-Patriot July 24, 2020 at 3:14 pm

Even the USPS is having issues with mail in ballots. So much, they issued a memo.

Between issues in NJ, WV and others between USPS problems and fraud…University of California-Irvine School of Law professor Rick Hasen said. Hasen wrote: “When someone tries an absentee ballot scheme like this clumsy attempt in Paterson, it is hard to hide. People get caught.”

California, over 100K ballots rejected.

Even the New York Times reports systemic issues people even getting their ballot.

“Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud,” read the conclusion of a bipartisan 2005 report authored by the Commission on Federal Election Reform, which was chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker.

Read it here: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/mail-in-voting-faces-slew-of-issues-nationwide

https://www.dailysignal.com/2020/05/09/database-swells-to-1285-proven-cases-of-voter-fraud-in-america/

Beyond the facts that mail in voting is rampant with so many ways to commit fraud, add in counterfeit ballots being manufactured either in the US, or overseas the system can be overwhelmed and flooded with ballots. How long do you think it takes to validate 10’s of thousands of ballots? Are they real? Are they counterfeit?

Let’s not forget mail box poaching (ballots out of mailboxes), ballot harvesting, intimidation, illegals voting.

Let’s agree, it’s just not the time and the technology for mail in are just not there!

Go grab your drivers license or other government type ID, go to your polling location and cast your vote in a better controlled environment than any mail in ballot.

Protect our Republic by exercising your right to vote by going to your polls.

John ONeill July 24, 2020 at 4:53 pm

Look for a record turnout out of Bridgeport this year..I’m betting 120% of residents will cast ballots. For those without a calculator that’s 20% more than their voting population. Truly, a Joe Ganim special. For those from out of the area Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim is a convicted felon recently endorsed by Jim Himes. Does anyone else see a pattern developing?

Babar Sheikh July 25, 2020 at 8:24 am

Mail in voting? It’s 2020, how about voting on mobile devices. We need to be ahead of the game. The conspiracy theory crowd will always find something to complain about.

Mary Ellen Flaherty-Ludwig July 25, 2020 at 10:44 am

Looks like cooler heads prevailed in Hartford for the mail-in voting option. I welcome the chance to mail in my vote. The facts lead to recognizing that mail-in ballots will be a sensible option.

CT-Patriot July 25, 2020 at 4:24 pm

Sorry to disappoint…mail in ballots still have a high rate of fraud.

Simply put, supporting mail in ballots at this juncture in time/technology is supporting voter fraud. Period!

In time, I am positive there may be a way to vote via mobile technology, but that is far off.

Get off your caboose and go vote at the polling site, or stay home, your choice. But mail in? Not a chance! That is unless you have no problem supporting fraud.

Support true valid ballots. Those would be at your polling site.

Peter Franz July 27, 2020 at 9:47 am

Saying mail in ballots have a high rate of fraud is not true.

Not even a little true.

Remember Trump’s claim that he only lost the popular vote because of voter fraud? He formed a commission to find the problem. The commission found nothing and was dissolved after wasting a lot of taxpayer money. Of course, that wasn’t a mail voting issue, but it’s indicative of the false information the Trump Administration regularly repeats.

Even the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation found 14 (fourteen) attempted fraud cases in 15.5 million votes, when it studied Oregon voting.

It’s a sorry statement when you find one side of politics: Conservatives / Republicans who are consistently trying to suppress Americans from voting. This has been sadly proven time and time again. Even Condoleezza Rice complained to the Republican Party for “engaging in a strategy that counted on minority voters not turning up at the polls.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-vote-by-mail-explainer/explainer-fraud-is-rare-in-us-mail-in-voting-here-are-the-methods-that-prevent-it-idUSKBN2482SA

https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/false-narrative-vote-mail-fraud

Joe July 27, 2020 at 3:24 pm

Mail in voting increases fraud exponentially.

No one at town clerk’s office is qualified to verify any signatures, even if they did check.

And just last week, SOS Merrill warned that ALL of our mail in votes would have to pass through NEW YORK postal
center before being delivered to our counters days or weeks later. (depending on harvesting tactics.)

How stupid and gullible has Connecticut become.

Our votes used to be tallied automatically on fool-proof, un-hackable, non electric mechanical voting machine with paper tape backups.

This was never a problem until democrat cheaters in Florida tried to steal the Bush Gore national election with their hanging chad scam.

Then our lovely SOS Susan Bysewitz, now Lt Gov, ordered all of our perfectly functioning mechanical machines destroyed and we have had digital and ballot problems ever since.

This is how democrats win. Their ideas don’t hold water. They can only cheat.

CT-Patriot July 28, 2020 at 12:35 am

Oh, that’s good Condi Rice as a valid source…🙄 And claiming ” not a little true” is just such hogwash (keeping it family friendly).

The real reason “minorities” and others didn’t show up at the polls? It’s because most polling locations in areas were canceled by local government. They consolidated them so those who voted at their usual site now must travel to another and face more people in one location.

THAT my friends is a known Democrat playbook way to suppress voters and turn it on it’s head that Republicans did this. That and the big bad voter ID theory. Next time a law officer asks you for ID, tell him you don’t have one. You need some form in today’s society. It’s easy to obtain. And, if Democrats put as much effort in busing people to the polls, they can assist in getting those people an ID.

Go look at the data and statistics…all done in Democratic run local governments, big cities and rural areas. Closing/consolidated polling sites is common and sometimes due to staff and equipment.

And as for mail in ballots being tampered, damaged, fraudulently obtained, ballot poaching, counterfeiting ballots, stuffing ballot boxes…oh there’s more..claiming it isn’t prone to these items I just outlined is not only foolish, but dangerous thinking. It shows the repeated lie. Say it enough times and people will begin to believe it as true.

So please, don’t fool yourself with group think or keep going with “orange man bad” TDS as it does not help rational thought.

Imaging your ballot traversing through the postal system with hundreds of thousands. The USPS cannot seem to deliver letters or packages accurately! But you go ahead and assume your ballot will arrive on time. Then, it has to be checked and may get rejected. Your signature didn’t match. Or, ballots arrive all with same addresses, names, or an overwhelming amount arrive by counterfeiting. Now what?

The old mechanical lever machines were damn near fool proof as ever. Counters tested, sealed, paper tape recordings. It was the honest way. Now, they want the vote tallies sooner….enter the new voting technology…

Now, optical scanners are not as accurate. They have more issues than you are aware. Just be very thankful we are not on the touchscreen systems!

To be fair, all three parties should be at the polling location to oversee the optical scanner systems. Make sure they read ballots correctly and counters are incrementing correctly. Keep a log of those counters and how many ballots were inserted, read and tallied. Any rejection should be dealt with swiftly.

That is voting the right way. By going to your assigned location (pray it was not consolidated) and vote.

As for Covid…you can live your life in fear if you choose. Or, you can enjoy life of freedom.

I choose freedom. I’ll be safe distancing, wearing a mask and use common sense as I have all along avoiding this virus. The virus does not run my life! Don’t let it run yours.

Bryan Meek July 28, 2020 at 10:12 am

I don’t agree w/ Babar on much, but we should be able to vote on line, anywhere with electronic identification verification systems that while not foolproof are much better than 3000 year old courier technology.

The credit bureaus have a file on everyone and can verify identity with questions going back 20 years. So can the IRS. Can someone hack the system? Sure, but it is technically feasible would be much more secure than mail.

If they were serious about getting everyone to vote, this would be on the table….but they are not really serious about counting everyone’s vote.

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