Connecticut leaders calling on U.S. Senate to pass federal voting expansion bill

Politics

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut’s U.S. Senators and Secretary of the State are pushing the U.S. Senate to pass the For The People Act.

Connecticut’s U.S. senators and chief election official are pushing a controversial voting bill in Congress. The senate could take up the bill later this month. It would set voting standards. but there’s a lot of opposition.

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy are calling on their colleagues in the U.S. Senate to pass a controversial bill that would create a federal standard for voting and allow access to early voting and voting by mail.

But it’s a divisive matter.

“When I first got to the U.S. Congress in 2016, the Voting Rights Act was not political,” said Senator Chris Murphy. “Today that same bill would be likely to pick up a handful of Republican in the House.”

The push comes at the same time more than a dozen states including Georgia and Texas recently passed bills that do things like limit the number of drop boxes or shorten voting hours on Sundays. Blumenthal and Murphy say the For the People Act would ban so-called restrictive laws.

“This moment in our democracy we have no time to waste because every day every month the more likely voter suppression by restricting access to the ballot box,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.

The bill tackles much more than voting. It would require disclosure of financial documents for candidates of certain offices and reform campaign financing in ways Connecticut’s senators say would tackle “bad money” or special interests.

Meanwhile, Connecticut voters will get a chance next year to weigh in on a referendum question about bringing early voting to this state. A recent poll by Secure Democracy found more than 70 percent of people in CT say they want early voting and or access to voting by mail.

“Unfortunately, there is a clause in the 1818 constitution that limits our ability to make these changes we can’t just change the statues,” said Denise Merrill, Secretary of State. “So, it will be a long, long time before we have the same thing as citizens in every state have – in 44 states have already.”

Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation is all Democratic. Murphy says so far, no republicans in the U.S. Senate are in support of this bill. 

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