State proposes changes following hectic election day

State proposes changes following hectic election day

Gun Rights

Hourslong lines at same-day voter registration centers almost decided the outcome of the hotly contested Connecticut gubernatorial race last November. Several months later, Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill announced measures to improve future elections. Merrill released two major constitutional amendments for the 2019 legislative session in a statement on Feb. 6. The first amendment would allow residents to vote within the three days before Election Day, a privilege voters in 39 states and the District of Columbia already have. Meanwhile, the second amendment would allow 16-year-olds to register to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles upon obtaining their learner’s permit or driver’s license. This measure has already been adopted by 13 other states and the District of Columbia. “Voting is the operating system for democracy,” said Jonathan Schwartz ’21, who is the director of voter engagement and elections for Every Vote Counts — a recently founded nonpartisan Yale student organization that encourages higher voter turnout. “Your computer can do all sorts of different things … , but it doesn’t work if there’s no operating system to support that.” According to the state constitution, amendments may be proposed by any member of the Connecticut General Assembly. By state law, any amendment that garners at least three-quarters of the vote in each chamber or is passed by a majority in two sessions is added to the upcoming election ballot. To be adopted to the Constitution, a majority of voters must support the measure. In addition to these proposed amendments, […]

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