Back in 2010 I discussed same day registration with Sec. Merrill, and at the time she was somewhat reticent about enacting it because of worries about possibly overwhelming municipality's voter officials. I supported her during the campaign and was thrilled to see her coast to an easy victory, but I did endorse Gerry Garcia immediately before the primary election entirely because he campaigned as a strong proponent of EDR and early voting, which I consider very important practices for a more participatory democracy. It was a purely symbolic gesture on my part and not a complaint about her performance or abilities as Merrill enjoyed an insurmountable lead in the polls.
So I'm especially pleased that we now have EDR in place, with Sec. Merrill's support, and it seems to be working out well. Nearly 3,000 citizens registered to vote the same day as the election, and their votes and voices were relevant. Especially when you remember that Gov. Malloy won back in 2010 by a margin of around 5,000 votes. This program will undoubtedly have a significant impact on GOTV efforts going into the final two weeks of future campaigns.
So my hat's off to Sec. Merrill and Gov. Malloy and the state legislature for being progressive in helping make our democracy even more inclusive. It goes without saying I'll be supporting them both in their reelection efforts.
Oh, and for the hell of it I'm putting a video up I made for Denise back in 2010 where she discussed Long Island Sound and the need for smart environmental legislation. The EDR press release is below.
Hartford: Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today released comprehensive statewide figures that show nearly 3,000 Connecticut voters used Election Day Registration to register and cast ballots in the 2013 municipal elections. Election Day Registration (EDR) became available for Connecticut voters for the first time on November 5, 2013 after being enacted by Governor Dannel P. Malloy and the Connecticut General Assembly in 2012. The figures released today are part of a comprehensive report on EDR being prepared for the Connecticut General Assembly as required by state law, due February 1, 2014. Secretary Merrill estimates that 2,900 Connecticut voters in 169 cities and towns were able to register and vote on Election Day November 5, 2013. Secretary Merrill’s estimate is based on municipal head moderators’ reports and additional research by Secretary of the State Office staff. The municipality with the highest number of EDR voters was New Haven, where 202 citizens registered and voted on Election Day, followed by New Britain, with 164 EDR voters...
“Voting is a fundamental American right, and Connecticut’s new Election Day registration law made it possible for almost 3,000 new voters across our state to exercise that right. That is something we can all celebrate,” said Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s chief elections official. “The data speaks for itself; Election Day Registration is both popular and reliable, and my office did not receive any reports or complaints of concern as this law was implemented.”