Governor Lamont recently issued executive order 7QQ that permits absentee voting in Connecticut for the August Primary and the November general election, provided that a CDC approved vaccine is not then available. Here is the text of the executive order.
1. Absentee Voting Eligibility During COVID-19 Pandemic. Section 9-135 of the Connecticut General Statutes is modified to provide that, in addition to the enumerated eligibility criteria set forth in subsection (a) of that statute, an eligible elector may vote by absentee ballot for the August 11, 2020 primary election if he or she is unable to appear at his or her polling place during the hours of voting because of the sickness of COVID-19. For purposes of this modification, a person shall be permitted to lawfully state he or she is unable to appear at a polling place because of COVID-19 if, at the time he or she applies for or casts an absentee ballot for the August 11, 2020 primary election, there is no federally approved and widely available vaccine for prevention of COVID-19. It shall not constitute a misrepresentation under subsection (b) of Section 9-135 of the General Statutes for any person to communicate the provisions of this modification to any elector or prospective absentee ballot applicant.
2. Notice of Modification Required on Inner Envelope. Section 9-137 of the Connecticut General Statutes is modified to provide that it shall not constitute a false statement for an elector to represent his or her eligibility to vote by absentee ballot pursuant to the modifications of Section 9-135 in Section 1 of this order, and the inner envelope described in Section 9-137 shall contain a notice describing the modification in Section 1 of this order.
3. Authority for Secretary of the State to Modify Absentee Ballot Applications, Envelopes, and Printed Materials Regarding Eligibility. Notwithstanding any provision of Title 9 of the Connecticut General Statutes or any other law or regulation to the contrary, the Secretary of the State shall be authorized to modify any required notice, statement, or description of the eligibility requirements for voting by absentee ballot on any printed, recorded, or electronic material in order to provide accurate information to voters about the modifications to absentee voter eligibility and related requirements of this order.
4. Authority to Issue Absentee Ballots. Section 9-140(g) of the Connecticut General Statutes is modified and suspended to permit the municipal clerk to use a third party mailing vendor that has been approved and selected by Secretary of the State to fulfill the municipal clerk's duties to mail absentee voting sets for the August 11, 2020 primary election. All other requirements of Section 9-140(g) continue to apply.
5. Modification of Requirement that Absentee Ballots be Returned by Mail or In Person. Section 9-140b(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes is modified to provide that the term "mailed" shall include the act of depositing an absentee ballot for the August 11, 2020 primary in a secure drop box designated by the town clerk for that purpose in accordance with instructions to be provided by the Secretary of the State. All other requirements of Section 9-140b(c) continue to apply.
6. Clarification that Commissioner Orders Issued Pursuant to the Governor's Executive Orders Are Not Regulations Subject to the UAPA. Section 4-166(16) of the Connecticut General Statutes is modified to clarify that the definition of a regulation does not include any amendment or repeal of an existing regulation and any directive, rule, guidance, or order issued by a Commissioner or Department Head pursuant to a Governor's Executive Order during the existing civil preparedness and public health emergency and any renewal or extension thereof. Notwithstanding Sections 4-166 to 189, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, any Commissioner or Department Head, as permitted or directed by any such Governor's executive order, may modify or suspend any regulatory requirements adopted by the Commissioner or Department Head that they deem necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the public health. This section applies to all orders that have been issued since the declaration of public health and civil preparedness emergencies on March 10, 2020 and for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency, including any period of renewal of such emergency declaration.