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Stories about Connecticut

Connecticut voters to decide early voting amendment in 2022

On May 27, the Connecticut State Legislature voted to send a constitutional amendment to voters in 2022 that would authorize the state legislature to provide by law for early voting. Currently, Connecticut does not permit early voting.

As of April 2021, 38 states and the District of Columbia permitted early voting. Early voting allows citizens to cast ballots in person at a polling place prior to an election. In states that permit early voting, a voter does not have to provide an excuse for being unable to vote on election day.

Cheri Quickmire, the Connecticut executive director of Common Cause, a progressive 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, said, “We trust Connecticut’s voters will embrace this additional option when it is on the ballot next year. In states that have Early Voting, people use it. In Georgia, for instance, more than two-thirds of November’s voters used in-person early voting to cast their ballots. In Florida, almost half of November’s voters cast their ballots early, in person.”

The Connecticut Constitution provides two paths for the Connecticut General Assembly to refer constitutional amendments to the ballot: (1) a 75 percent vote in each chamber of the legislature during one legislative session, or (2) a simple majority vote (50%+1) in each chamber of the legislature during two legislative sessions.

The constitutional amendment was introduced into the Connecticut General Assembly as House Joint Resolution 161 (HJR 161) during the 2019 legislative session. On April 24, 2019, the Connecticut House of Representatives passed HJR 161, meeting the three-fourths vote required to approve a constitutional amendment during one legislative session. As there was one vacant seat in the House, 113 votes were needed to approve the amendment during one session. The vote on HJR 161 was 125 to 24. On May 8, 2019, the Connecticut State Senate passed HJR 161 by less than the three-fourths vote required to approve an amendment during one session. The vote was 23 to 13. At least 27 votes were required to meet the three-fourths threshold.

As the constitutional amendment was approved during the 2019 legislative session by a simple majority vote in each chamber, legislators needed to approve the amendment again during the 2021–2022 legislative session by a simple majority vote. The amendment was introduced as House Joint Resolution (HJR 59). It was approved by the House on May 6, 2021, by a vote of 115-26 with 10 absent or not voting. On May 27, 2021, the Senate approved HJR 59 by a vote of 26-9 with one absent.

This is the first amendment referred to the 2022 statewide ballot in Connecticut. Between 1996 and 2020, voters approved 71% (5 of 7) ballot measures that appeared on statewide ballots in Connecticut.

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Clark Chapin confirmed as Connecticut’s Republican auditor of public accounts

Clark Chapin (R) assumed office as an auditor of public accounts in Connecticut on May 6. The Office of the Auditors of Public Accounts is a legislative agency in the Connecticut state government responsible for the state’s financial and accounting functions. Unlike any other state, Connecticut’s auditing agency is led by two partisan auditors—one Democrat and one Republican. Chapin occupies the Republican seat and will serve alongside the Democratic auditor, John C. Geragosian. 

Republican members of the Connecticut General Assembly nominated Chapin on April 8 to fill the vacancy created by Robert Kane’s (R) death in February. The General Assembly confirmed Chapin as the new Republican auditor on May 6, for a term beginning that day. He will serve for the remainder of Kane’s term, which ends on June 30, 2023.

Chapin was a member of the Connecticut State Senate, representing District 30 from 2013 to 2017. He did not seek reelection in 2016. Before being elected to the state Senate, Chapin was a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, representing the 67th District from 2001 to 2013.

Forty-eight (48) states have a statewide auditor, with New York and Tennessee being the two states that do not. The state auditor’s office belongs to either the executive or legislative branch, depending on the state. While both offices are similar in function, a legislative auditor functions primarily under the state legislature and is not considered a state executive office. Connecticut is one of 23 states that have legislative auditors. Thirty-three (33) states have executive branch auditors, and eight states have both.

According to the Office of the Connecticut Auditors of Public Accounts, the agency “can trace its origin to a charter granted in 1662 to the Colony of Connecticut by King Charles the Second of England… Its organization, with two state auditors not of the same political party, makes Connecticut unique among state auditing agencies. From its colonial origin, Connecticut’s audit function has been performed by more than a single auditor.”

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Special election to be held in Connecticut House district

A special election is being held on April 27 for District 145 of the Connecticut House of Representatives. Corey Paris (D) and J.D. Ospina (R) are running in the general election. The winner will serve until January 2023.

The seat became vacant after Patricia Miller (D) won a special election to represent Connecticut State Senate District 27 on March 2. Miller had represented the district since 2009. She won re-election in 2020 with 77% of the vote.

Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 96-54 majority in the Connecticut House with one vacancy. Connecticut has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

As of April, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Connecticut held 40 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Special election to be held in Connecticut House district

Voters will decide a special election for District 112 of the Connecticut House of Representatives on April 13. Nicholas Kapoor (D), Tony Scott (R), and William Furrier (Independent Party) are running in the general election. The winner will serve until January 2023.

The seat became vacant after the resignation of J.P. Sredzinski (R) on February 17. Sredzinski had represented the district since 2015.

Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 96-53 majority in the Connecticut House with two vacancies. Connecticut has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

As of April, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Connecticut held 40 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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  • State legislative special elections, 2021
  • Connecticut House of Representatives
  • Connecticut House of Representatives, District 112


Voters in Connecticut state Senate district to decide special election on March 2

The special general election for Connecticut State Senate District 27 is on March 2, 2021. Patricia Miller (D), Joshua Esses (R), and Brian Merlen (Independent Party) are competing in the special election. No primary election was scheduled, as candidates running for special elections in Connecticut are nominated through party conventions.

The special election was called after Carlo Leone (D) resigned effective January 5, 2021, to become a special advisor to Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti. Leone served from 2011 to 2021.

As of February, 27 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Connecticut held 40 special elections between 2010 and 2020.

Connecticut has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Democrats control the Connecticut State Senate by a margin of 23-12 with one vacancy. 

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Keller appointed to Connecticut Supreme Court

On July 20, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) appointed appellate judge Christine E. Keller to the state supreme court. If confirmed by the Connecticut General Assembly, Keller will fill the vacancy created when former justice Richard Palmer reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 in May 2020.
Keller has served on the Connecticut Court of Appeals since 2013 and previously served on the Connecticut Superior Court beginning in 1993. She is Lamont’s first appointee to the state supreme court. All six of the current justices on the seven-seat court were appointed by Governor Dan Malloy (D) during his tenure.
Nine of the 11 state supreme court vacancies that have occurred so far this year have been filled. 19 vacancies total set to occur this year have been announced.
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Filing deadline passes for congressional candidates in Connecticut, New Hampshire

On June 11 and June 12, the major-party filing deadline passed to run for U.S. Congress in Connecticut and New Hampshire, respectively. The Connecticut filing deadline had previously been June 9, but it was moved to June 11 by Governor Ned Lamont’s (D) executive order in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In Connecticut, neither U.S. Senate seat is up for election this year. The incumbents for the state’s five U.S. House seats—John Larson (D) in District 1, Joe Courtney (D) in District 2, Rosa DeLauro (D) in District 3, James Himes (D) in District 4, and Jahana Hayes (D) in District 5—are all running for re-election. The primary for candidates who aren’t nominated via party convention is on August 11.

In New Hampshire, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) is running for re-election to her seat. The incumbents for the state’s two U.S. House seats—Chris Pappas (D) in District 1 and Annie Kuster (D) in District 2—are both running for re-election, as well. The state’s primary is on September 8.

Connecticut and New Hampshire’s statewide filing deadlines were the 46th and 47th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on June 24 in Rhode Island, and the final two statewide filing deadlines are in Delaware and Louisiana in July.

The national general election is on November 3, 2020. Entering the 2020 election, the U.S. Senate has 45 Democrats, 53 Republicans, and two independents who caucus with the Democratic Party. Thirty-five out of the 100 U.S. Senate seats are up for election, including two seats up for special election. A majority in the chamber requires 51 seats. The U.S. House of Representatives has 233 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one Libertarian, and four vacancies. All 435 U.S. House seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

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