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Survey Shows Connecticut Making Big Strides To Improve Voting Access

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill believes that Connecticut will be a model to the nation for voting and civic participation.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill believes that Connecticut will be a model to the nation for voting and civic participation. Photo Credit: State of Connecticut

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- A new report reveals Connecticut has made major strides in promoting access to voting over the last four years.

The review updates a Rock the Vote scorecard that was released in 2011 and found that Connecticut ranked 48th out of 51 jurisdictions (or a score of 4.2 out of a possible 21). However, implementing reforms such as Election Day registration and online voter registration, among others, raised the score to 11.2, according to Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill.

The updated review was carried out by DataHaven, a Connecticut-based nonprofit that collects, interprets and shares public data. It was produced for the forthcoming 2016 Connecticut Civic Health Index report, which will be released this week.

“Progress is good but only if it gives us the momentum to do more. Online and Election Day registration have been huge successes but there’s more we must do. Connecticut can and will be a model to the nation for ease of voting and civic participation," Merrill said.

Rock the Vote's President Ashley Spillane is pleased with Connecticut's progress.

“In 2011, Rock the Vote identified a number of areas related to voting access that were crying out for improvement in Connecticut," said Spillane. "However by introducing online voter registration, same-day registration and other programs, the past four years has been time well spent. There’s obviously more to do, but we’re pleased that Connecticut has come such a long way.”

The score was carried out for the 2016 Connecticut Civic Health Index. This report is a unique evaluation of the depth of citizen engagement through a variety of indicators like voting, volunteering and other forms of community involvement, based on an analysis of the Census Current Population Survey and other locally available data sources.

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