Testimony on HJ 58: Resolution Proposing a State Constitutional Amendment to Allow No-Excuse Absentee Voting

Government Administration and Elections Committee

February 22, 2021

Submitted By: Christina Cowan, NASW/CT Intern, MSW Student – Quinnipiac University

The National Association of Social Workers, Connecticut Chapter (NASW/CT), representing over 2,300 members, supports HJ 58 – to pass a proposal for no-excuse absentee voting to be approved by voters in the 2022 statewide election.

Connecticut’s government handled the election in light of the COVID-19 pandemic in a smooth manner that truly helped keep the Connecticut voters safe while being able to execute their rights. The 2020 election had a record-breaking 80% voter turnout in Connecticut, which would not have been possible without the expanded absentee ballot voting since 650,000 voters in Connecticut used an absentee ballot to vote for 2020. It is imperative that this freedom be continued in future elections as long as the Connecticut voters approve of this.

Connecticut voters should have the right to determine if they support no-excuse absentee voting, which if this bill is approved, they would have the chance to vote on this in the 2022 statewide election. At this time, 73% of Connecticut voters support no-excuse absentee voting. The government should listen to the needs of their citizens and grant them this freedom to vote upon their own rights.

Shouldn’t the government want their citizens to be able to vote without barriers in whichever way is easiest for them? Shouldn’t the voters have a right to determine their own rights through democracy?

NASW/CT strongly believes that no-excuse absentee voting is beneficial for everyone. It is beneficial to the immune-compromised, people with disabilities, college students, those who work out of state/travel out of state frequently, those with multiple jobs, those with children, those without reliable transportation, and many more. It is also beneficial to the Connecticut government as absentee ballots are safe, cost effective, efficient, and secure. Most importantly, it is beneficial to all of our residents as it ensures that every voice is heard.

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