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Breaking and Analysis: (Another) Federal Court Strikes Restrictive WI Voting Rules
07/29/16 |
Publication Date: 
Friday, July 29, 2016 - 15:30
Excerpt: 

In a 119-page opinion, a federal district court has struck a host of WI voting rules, including certain voter id provisions, as unconstitutional. Among other things, the court has ordered that expired but otherwise valid student id cards will be valid for voting. ...

The judge’s remedy here sets up a clash with the approach of Judge Adelman in the other voting rights case, and the right remedy will have to be sorted out, likely by the 7th Circuit. On this point, the judge writes: “Judge Adelman’s injunction provides one type of safety net. But plaintiffs have not asked me to impose that solution, and I will not. The state has already issued an emergency rule under which those who are in the IDPP will get receipts valid for voting. Although that is not a complete or permanent solution, it blunts the harshest effects of the IDPP. I will also order the state to publicize that anyone who enters the IDPP will promptly get a receipt valid for voting. To address this problem over the longer term, I will order the state to reform the IDPP to meet certain standards, leaving it to the state to determine how best to cure its constitutional problems. I take this approach because it respects the state’s decision to have a strict voter ID law rather than an affidavit system. But Wisconsin may adopt a strict voter ID system only if that system has a well-functioning safety net, as both the Seventh Circuit and the Wisconsin Supreme Court have held.”

Federal judge refuses to stay Wisconsin voter ID order
07/29/16 |
Publication Date: 
Friday, July 29, 2016 - 12:15
Excerpt: 

U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman in Milwaukee issued a preliminary injunction this month allowing people who haven't been able to obtain IDs to vote in the Nov. 8 election if they sign an affidavit explaining why they couldn't get the identification.

State attorneys have filed notice that they'll appeal the order with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and asked Adelman to stay the injunction until the appeal is resolved.

Adelman refused to grant the stay on Friday, saying the injunction doesn't block anyone from challenging a voter's identity and some safety net must exist to protect the rights of voters who lack photo ID.

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Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

Connecticut Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 Congressional/State Primary: August 9

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

Connecticut has no voter registration deadline. However, on Election Day voters cannot register at their regular polling place. Instead, they must register at EDR locations that have been designated by the Secretary of State in each town.

For more information, visit the Connecticut Secretary of State website

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.

Election Day: 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Election Day.  Connecticut DOES NOT offer early voting, to find out more information on absentee voting please see below. 

How to Find Your Polling Place

You can locate your polling place using the Secretary of State's Voter Registration Lookup tool, or by calling 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadlines

Registration applications can be mailed in using this form (also available in Spanish) or can be filled out in person at your Registrar of Voters' office.

Applications for primary elections must be postmarked by the 5th day before a primary (OR received by your Registrar of Voters or a voter registration agency by the 5th day before a primary).

Applications for general elections must be postmarked or received by a voter registration agency by the 14 days before an election (OR you may register in person with your Registrar of Voters by the 7th day before an election).

How to Check if You Are Registered

You can check the status of your registration by using the Secretary of State's Voter Registration Lookup tool or contacting your local Registrar of Voters.

How to Register

There are several options for registering to vote:

  • You may register to vote online on the Connecticut Secretary of State’s website;
  • You may register by mailing in this form (also available in Spanish) or can be filled out in person at your local Registrar of Voters office; or
  • You may register on Election Day if you are not currently registered or you are already registered and need to change your address.  However, this cannot be done at your polling place.  Contact your local Registrar of Voters office to find out where you can register on Election Day.

Registration Eligibility

You are eligible to register and vote in Connecticut if you are:

  • A United States citizen and you live in Connecticut;
  • 18 years or older by Election Day (you may register at 17); and
  • Not a convicted felon (or if you are, you must have completed confinement and parole).

Identification Required for Registration

You may, but are not required to, submit a form of identification with your registration application.  If you do not submit identification, you may be required to do so at the polls on Election Day.

Acceptable forms of ID you can submit with your application are:

  • Driver’s License Number;
  • Last four digits of Social Security number;
  • A copy of valid photo ID; and
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or government document that shows your name and address.

If You Want to Vote Early

Connecticut does not offer early voting except by mail-in absentee ballot.  If you are not eligible to vote absentee, you must vote on the day of the election at your polling place.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

You may vote by absentee ballot if you:

  • Are ill or physically disabled;
  • Are serving in the military;
  • Will be out of town on election day during all hours of voting;
  • Will be providing service as a poll worker in polling places other than your own; or
  • Cannot vote on Election Day for religious reasons.

You may submit an application for an absentee ballot the 31st day before a general election, or the 21st day before a primary.

If you want to vote absentee, fill out this ballot application and return it to your town clerk (also available in Spanish).

If you become ill or otherwise unable to vote within the 6 day period before the election, you may be eligible to apply for an emergency absentee ballot using this form (also available in Spanish).

For special referendums with less than 3 weeks’ notice, please find information on absentee ballots on the Secretary of State’s website.

The absentee ballot must be received by the municipal clerk by the close of the polls if mailed, or by the day before an election if returned in person. 

Identification Requirements to Register to Vote

You may, but are not required to, submit a form of identification with your registration application.  If you do not submit identification, you may be required to do so at the polls on Election Day.

Acceptable forms of ID you can submit with your application are:

  • Driver’s License Number;
  • Last four digits of Social Security number;
  • A copy of valid photo ID; and
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or government document that shows your name and address.

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

If you are voting in your precinct for the first time and did not provide any identification when registering to vote by mail, you must show one of the following forms of ID when casting a ballot:

  • Current valid photo ID showing your name and address; 
  • Copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck; or
  • Other government document that shows your name and address.

Voters who have shown ID when registering to vote or during a previous election must either show a form of ID or fill out a form at the polls.  Specifically, voters' two options are:

  1. Present her or his Social Security card or a preprinted form of identification which shows the elector's name and either the elector's signature, address or photograph; or
  2. Sign a "Signatures of Electors Who Did Not Present ID" form (Form 3), affirming under penalty of law that the elector signing the form is the elector whose name appears on the official check list. 

If you have moved within Connecticut (even within your original town), you must update your voter registration to reflect your current address.

To update your information, you may:

  • Update your information online on this website;
  • Mail in this form and indicate “Change of Address” (also available in Spanish) or you can fill it out in person at your local Registrar of Voters office; or
  • Register on Election Day to change your address.  However, this cannot be done at your polling place.  Contact your local Registrar of Voters office to find out where you can change your address on Election Day. 

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP)  Connecticut-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email.  If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA.  Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP's Connecticut-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they have applied for their printed absentee ballot and are concerned that they will not receive the ballot before Election Day.  The FWAB is a blank ballot on which voters write in their choices.  The FWAB must be mailed directly to the voter’s city or town election department, and must be received before the close of the polls.  For specific instructions, visit the Federal Assistance Voting Program’s Connecticut- specific page

Individuals convicted of a felony and incarcerated in any federal or state correctional facility are unable to vote until they pay all fines in conjunction with the conviction (if confined in a federal or out of state facility), are released from confinement and have completed parole.  Additionally, formerly convicted felons must register to vote even if they were registered to vote prior to their conviction. 

Formerly convicted felons on probation are eligible to register and vote, unless convicted of a felony and incarcerated for a violation of Title 9 of the Connecticut Election Statutes.  Individuals in these circumstances must complete their full sentence including probation before registering to vote.

**The materials below have not yet been updated since 2014**

FAQ

Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, visit the National Disability Rights Network’s voting resource center.

For more information for student voters, visit the Connecticut Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

2016 Election Information for your state