Voting by absentee ballot in Connecticut due to COVID to be allowable under legal interpretation

Katie R. Ochoa

Secretary of the Point out Denise Merrill is expected to shortly release an formal interpretation of a new law aimed at building it easier for people today to vote by mail.

Capitol sources suggest that as early as Friday, Merrill, acting on authorized tips, will strain that eligibility for absentee ballots will no for a longer period include the necessity that voters testify they will be out of their hometowns for the duration of all several hours of voting. Also, the declare of “sickness” as a reason for eligibility is no lengthier restricted to the specific voter.

“For example, a voter who is a caretaker of an immunocompromised individual can vote by absentee ballot if the sickness and/or bodily incapacity of the individual in their treatment renders the voter not able to surface at their polling location,” according to a draft announcement. “Similarly, a voter who, in the voter’s finest judgment, is unable to look in the polling spot because of the ongoing presence of a sickness these as the COVID-19 virus, is eligible to vote by absentee ballot.”

In a draft letter to town clerks and voter registrars, Merrill states voters might make determinations for on their own on regardless of whether they may well be equipped to look in person at the polls since of prepared absences from their cities. The all round interpretation is primarily based on a unanimous condition Supreme Court docket ruling.

The letter goes on to detail that voters are permitted to vote by mail “if exposure to a pandemic disorder or community wellness crisis poses a wellbeing threat to the voter. And considering that the word ‘sickness’ is not tied to an specific voter’s possess health issues, it permits a voter to vote by absentee ballot if, for case in point, the voter is a caretaker of an particular person stricken by either particular illness or whose condition may well be aggravated by exposure to illness.”

That interpretation is also up to the voter, Merrill says in the draft.

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