Safeguard Our Elections and Our Health

Ann Gadwah

We here at Sierra Club Connecticut envision a world where every voice matters and is counted: a truly vibrant democracy where everyone has the opportunity to participate; a place where people don’t have to choose between their safety and their right to vote. To bring this vision to fruition, we are fighting so that voting rights are protected and expanded to everyone.

 

Sierra Club Connecticut is part of a statewide coalition of over 50 organizations asking the Governor to help safeguard the integrity of our elections and protect the health and safety of our voters this election season by expanding the right to vote from our homes by mail. We believe that all voters should be able to use concern about the spread of COVID-19 as a reason to be able to use an absentee ballot in both the August primary and the November General Election. 

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There is widespread support for this initiative. Hundreds of Connecticut residents wrote their lawmakers requesting expansion of absentee voting. Over 72 legislators from the General Assembly wrote a letter to Governor Lamont in support of the initiative. Secretary of State  Denise Merrill has stated she will send absentee ballots to every resident of the state for both the primary and the general. 

 

And on May 20, 2020, Governor Lamont issued an Executive Order allowing expanded absentee ballot voting for the August primary.

 

This is an important first step, but we need to ensure the November election will protect the health and safety of voters and allow for the highest voter participation possible. The General Assembly must pass a bill allowing expanded absentee ballot access in the November election. Write your legislator, asking them to please pass a bill ensuring vote by mail is an option for the general election. Together we can ensure a truly representative and vibrant democracy here in Connecticut. 

 

Ann Gadwah is Chapter Chair and Political Chair of Sierra Club Connecticut.