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Connecticut has recently allowed early in-person voting for the first time ahead of the state’s presidential primary. However, the turnout for early voting was low, with only 13,476 voters out of 1.2 million registered voters participating. This change to allow early voting came after voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2022 by 60% for the initiative. The Senate last year approved a bill to allow 14 days of early voting for the general election, signaling a historic moment for Connecticut.

Republican leaders had expressed concerns about voter security related to early voting, but Republican registrar of voters Peggy Roberts stated that the rollout was organized and secure. Voters appreciated the convenience of not having to stand in long lines to cast their ballots. When a voter casts an early ballot in Connecticut, they are immediately marked in the Centralized Voter Registration System to prevent cheating. While some voters, like JoLynn Brochu, voiced concerns about potential cheating, others felt it was important for Republicans to utilize early voting to match the Democrats’ high involvement in early voting.

Lara Trump has advocated for the Republican National Committee to implement “legal ballot harvesting” to stay competitive against Democrats. This strategy aims to increase voter turnout and ensure Republican voters are mobilized effectively. Early voting has been adopted in many states, with only four states – Alabama, Delaware, Mississippi, and New Hampshire – still not allowing it. Delaware previously permitted early voting, but it was declared unconstitutional in February. The recent implementation of early voting in Connecticut highlights a growing trend across the country towards increased access to voting.

The Secretary of the State, Stephanie Thomas, celebrated the introduction of early voting in Connecticut as a significant step towards providing more opportunities for people to participate in the democratic process. She encouraged voters to test the system and make their voices heard. Despite initial concerns about voter security, early voting in Connecticut has been praised for its organization and security measures. Some adjustments, such as streamlining the process of looking up voters in the computer database, may be needed to improve efficiency before the general election.

As Connecticut prepares for the upcoming presidential primary, the introduction of early voting has marked a pivotal moment in the state’s voting process. While some Republicans expressed concerns about potential cheating, others recognized the importance of embracing early voting to match the high participation rates of Democrats. The nationwide trend towards early voting is gaining momentum, with more states adopting this practice to increase voter participation and make the voting process more accessible. The recent success of early voting in Connecticut has set the stage for further advancements in voting practices and procedures in the upcoming elections.

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