Government Administration and Elections Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-1184

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING ELECTIONS.

Vote Date:

3/30/2007

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/28/2007, 3/30/07

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Government Administration and Elections Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

To change the Presidential primary in Connecticut to February 5th.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Susan Bysiewicz, Secretary of the State

The Secretary of the State is a strong supporter for moving the Presidential primary date up from March 4th to February 5th. If adopted, Connecticut would join 40 other states in the union and 40% of the population in holding a primary caucus at that particular date. More importantly, it makes sense to align Connecticut's dates with that of the majority of New England states. If the bill is enacted, it will protect Connecticut residents from voter disenfranchisement and therefore, the Secretary of the State strongly supports the passage of this bill.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Joyce Hamilton Henry, Executive Director – Democracy Works

The changing of the Presidential primary date from the first Tuesday in March to the first Tuesday in February will ensure that Connecticut is a key player in determining the Presidential preference. The added excitement of having an earlier primary date is also thought to impact voter turnout, increasing polling numbers dramatically. Democracy Works respectfully suggests that the change in date be made very public so that all members of the community have a chance to participate.

Nancy DiNardo, Chairwoman State Democratic Party

Ms. DiNardo supports the change in the primary election date. Of course, she does not support, along with the Secretary of the State, the frontloading of the primary calendar which will favor the victory of the candidate that raises the most money. For now, until there is an alternative to this system, Connecticut citizens should not be disenfranchised and left behind. Therefore, the only solution at this time is to join the other states in moving the dates forward.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None Expressed

Reported by: Ashley Hobart

Date: 4/4/07