Support early voting
On Nov. 6th, 2018, I spent just about the entire day standing under a tent near the UConn polling location, passing out free food and T-shirts to voters and watching hundreds of students pour out of buses to the polls. While it was so inspiring to see students showing up for Election Day, I knew that we still were not seeing everyone — I was getting constant texts and calls from friends who knew I worked on voting issues, stressed that they wouldn’t be able to make it to the polls.
While I was able to skip class to help out at the polls, not everyone can do that. We should make it as easy as possible for everyone to participate in the democratic process, rather than limiting it to people who have free time on a Tuesday. There is a really clear solution for this issue on the horizon for Connecticut: early voting. 39 states and Washington, D.C., have early voting, and Connecticut should too. Not only does it benefit students, but it also benefits anyone who is sick, elderly, or works unpredictable hours by allowing them to cast their ballot when they are able to.
Last week, HJR 161 (An Amendment to the State Constitution to Allow for Early Voting) passed through the House of Representatives. Now, the Senate needs to pass it with a supermajority for it to be put on the ballot in 2020, which will allow Connecticut voters to decide for themselves if they want early voting. I urge the Connecticut Senate to vote in favor of HJR 161. I also urge Connecticut citizens to call their senators and ask them to vote in favor of the amendment, because voting is a fundamental right that every American deserves.
Jessica Gagnon, Southington