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SCOTUS begins issuing new opinions, with another expected related to the power of federal agencies, the battleground state of Wisconsin gets a ruling on alternative voting sites, and coastal work is being done to help salt marshes withstand hurricanes.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

CT Voters Adopt Early Voting Amendment

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Wednesday, November 16, 2022   

A majority of Connecticut voters have elected to allow early voting in the state. Though a similar ballot initiative failed in 2014, this time 60% of Connecticut voters approved the amendment.

The goal is to provide people with greater ability to vote. Before, Connecticut was one of four states to not allow early voting.

Helen Humphreys, communications coordinator for the Connecticut Citizen Action Group, noted the biggest drawback of single-day voting is lack of access. She thinks cities will see direct benefits to adding early voting.

"I've voted in Suffield, and I've voted in Bridgeport, and the experience was very different," Humphreys recounted. "In Suffield, you walk in and out; in Bridgeport, I waited in line for over an hour to vote. So, I think especially for those in cities and high population areas, this is going to be a huge benefit, because it will give them the opportunity to vote when they can."

Passing with a modest majority, the new amendment already faces a legal challenge from a New Britain woman who claims it is unconstitutional. Humphreys disagrees, after speaking with some legal experts in the state. Rep. Gale Mastrofrancesco, R-Wolcott, and Sen. Rob Sampson, R-Wolcott, both wanted more checks and balances in the state early-voting bill to prevent voter fraud.

Humphreys acknowledged implementing the rules for early voting will be a matter of balance. She wants to ensure people have enough time to vote, while towns and poll workers are not overburdened. She noted the change will help those who might not have the time to go out and vote on Election Day.

"People want a voting system that meets the needs of Connecticut families today," Humphreys contended. "Really, it's clear Connecticut voters want more opportunities to exercise their right to vote. It's something that I think will benefit a lot of people who aren't available on one specific Tuesday in November."

In November 2024, Connecticut voters will be asked to add an amendment about no-excuse absentee voting. It would mean any voter can request a mail-in ballot, rather than having to submit an application to receive a ballot.


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