Connecticut NAACP v. Merrill
What's at Stake
The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Connecticut filed a federal lawsuit seeking to make mail-in voting available to every eligible voter during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Connecticut filed a federal lawsuit seeking to make absentee mail-in voting available to every eligible voter during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches and the League of Women Voters of Connecticut, as well as an individual Connecticut resident who requires a safe alternative to voting in-person during COVID-19 because her age places her at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Despite the fact that the pandemic rages on and over 45,000 Connecticut residents have contracted COVID-19 so far — including over 4,300 deaths — the state has retained one of the most restrictive mail voting systems in the nation for the November general election.
Most states allow any eligible voter to cast an absentee ballot, but Connecticut requires that voters provide an excuse to do so. While Secretary of State Denise Merrill expanded absentee ballot access for the August primary under executive order from Gov. Ned Lamont, she has failed to do so for the November general election, meaning the vast majority of voters would be forced to vote in-person — or avoid voting at all for fear of becoming ill, disenfranchising tens of thousands — because they did not meet one of Connecticut’s narrow requirements to vote by mail.