A bill proposed in the Connecticut state legislature’s January session involves possibly fining residents who choose not to vote.
“Sen. Will Haskell, a Democrat, proposed the bill. Haskell represents the state’s 26th District of Bethel, New Canaan, redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport and Wilton,” WFSB reported Thursday.
The bill would “amend general statutes to ‘provide that at the 2024 state election and each state election thereafter, all qualified electors shall either cast a ballot or provide a valid reason for not casting a ballot,’” the outlet said.
In addition, the bill would allow the secretary of state’s office to mail a form asking why a registered voter chose not to vote.
“Failure to respond to such form with a valid reason shall result in a fine of $20 paid to the office of the secretary of the state,” the proposal read.
In a tweet Wednesday, Haskell said he received a lot of feedback about the bill:
Lots of feedback on my civic duty voting bill today. The most interesting response has come from some friends on the other side of the aisle:
They point out that working parents, seniors, people with disabilities and commuters may not be able to vote conveniently.
— Will Haskell (@WillHaskellCT) January 28, 2021
“And they are absolutely right. Our voting laws are antiquated,” he claimed in a subsequent post.
“Without early voting and no-excuse absentee voting, it’s too hard for many people to participate in our democracy. As a result, we celebrate 66% turnout when other nations regularly exceed 90%,” Haskell said.
The representative added that the bill is not going to become law, “But I hope it started a conversation about how our state can finally assume the responsibility of making sure everyone not only has the right to vote, but also has the opportunity to vote.”
According to Fox 61, some residents are at odds about the proposal while others think it will be good for Connecticut.
“Nobody should be fined for not voting if they choose not to vote,” Christian Meissenn told the outlet.
However, West Hartford resident Carol Griffith disagreed, stating, “It makes sense to me because the more people that vote it’s the opinion of the state and people shouldn’t be able to complain.”