During an early evening session of the State House of Representatives, debating legislation aimed at advancing an amendment to the state’s constitution that permits early voting, Representative Jason Perillo (R-113) offered an amendment that would require those who cast votes in municipal, state and federal elections to present a valid photo ID to election officials that contains their name and address before casting their vote.
“Most people are surprised to learn that in the State of Connecticut, you are not required to provide identification that demonstrates clearly that you are who you say you are when you go to cast a vote,” said Rep. Perillo, who noted that elections officials he has dealt with are often under the assumption that it is required. “If we are really serious about preventing voter fraud in this state, why don’t we take this important and easy step that will easily validate the identity of an elector? I think the majority of state residents would want us to have a voter ID requirement.”
Perillo pointed out that a 2011 Rasmussen Poll showed that 75% of likely voters nationwide believe voters should be required to present identification at the polls.
The amendment offered by Perillo was narrowly defeated on a party-line vote of 76-72.
The underlying resolution, which would essentially allow for elections to be conducted over the course of five days instead of one, needed three-fourths of both chambers of the General Assembly to pass it before it could be placed on the November 2018 general election ballot for the general public to vote on it.
The resolution, H.J. 95, A Resolution Proposing a Constitutional Amendment to Permit Early and Regional Voting, passed the House, but not by the three-fourths vote required to move a constitutional amendment forward. If the Senate also approves the amendment, it will be referred to the 2019 General Assembly for another vote.
This session of the Connecticut General Assembly concludes at midnight, Wednesday, June 7, 2017.