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Malloy, Merrill Announce Voter Registration Proposal

The legislation would allow residents to register on Election Day and on the Internet, according to the Connecticut Mirror.

Gov. Dannel Malloy and Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced on Monday a call for legislation that would make it easier for Connecticut residents to register to vote and submit absentee ballots, according to the Connecticut Mirror.

The proposed legislation would allow voter registration on Election Day, online voter registration and increased penalties for those found guilty of blocking or impeding voter access.

“In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we have a tremendous opportunity this year to expand access to the ballot box to the many citizens of our state who face barriers to voting because their busy working lives make it difficult to register or appear at their polling place on Election Day," Merrill said in a statement released by Gov. Malloy's office on Monday. "Many states have already made these reforms and by taking these important steps forward we can include a younger generation of voters and expand participation in our democracy."

According to the Mirror, almost one-third of eligible voters in the state are not registered, a statistic that was of concern to Merrill when she spoke with Patch in October about . “That’s a very high number and we don’t really talk about it," she said. "That’s the first thing that’s very striking.”

State Republican Chairman Jerry Labriola told that Mirror that his party would continue to fight Election Day voter registration because it wouldn't leave an opportunity for officials to verify that the registration is indeed valid.

Peggy Freeman January 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Verification of citizenship is key, as is those that due to criminal activity have lost the right to vote Voting is a priviledge not an automatic right simply because one is standing there. And registering over the internet? How exactly is that supposed to be validated?
Janis Hardy January 18, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Great question! Doesn't this country have enough voter fraud already? We have to erode Connecticut's registrations and voting process, which I happen to believe is one of the best in the country, to create more access? I think there are other ways to create access, all in ways that can be easily verified. Figures this is being proposed in a presidential election year when the incumbent democrat just might be extra vulnerable! Also, did Malloy and Merrill ever consider that some folks aren't registered because they don't want to be? While everyone in this country has the priviledge of voting, not all wish to exercise it. A worse statistic is the number of registered voters who choose to not vote at all! Yes, we don't always have great candidates, but when one doesn't vote, they also give up the right to complain about what we've got! Another major problem is the widespread lack of knowledge about our state and country's history, our political process and even the individuals currently in office. Does anybody ever watch Jay Leno and his Jaywalking segment? Pretty scary... and some of these adults have actually gone to college and can't answer any civic questions! I'd rather have a lower, more informed voting constituency that a large block of voters who just ask their friends or family who they should vote for... or who will just vote for the candidate the unions tell them to!
E Twig January 18, 2012 at 04:54 PM
He must have missed out on some votes in New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford.
Peggy Freeman January 18, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Janis - Good points. I know many people that do not register because they simply don't want to be called for juryt duty! But again, I agree you don't get to complain (as I have said many times) if you don't actually vote. Malloy/Merrill need to hear from the voters on this issue and I suggest a quick e-mail is in order to them.
Janis Hardy January 18, 2012 at 11:10 PM
You ought to let those folks know that a jury duty summons no longer comes from the voter list! That went away ages ago. People I know don't like being inundated with robo calls, political party mailings, and the incessant requests for money..... Others just feel they have no good choices for candidates, so they figure, why bother? I believe this is one of the reasons we don't always get the candidates we need. Who wants to put up with all the grief? And the fact that you can't have a personal life, even prior to one's becoming a candidate. The best people just don't want to walk barefoot over the coals, leaving us to what we get! Having been a candidate several times for political office, it is no longer as much fun as it used to be!

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