While we never expected to have to write these words, we cannot say this loud enough, often enough or clear enough. We all need to join the fight to win back our right to vote.
The Governor may or may not have the legal right during an emergency declaration to suspend the right to vote, courts will be deciding that soon enough, but we are certain that he doesn’t have the right to suspend the right to vote on just certain, uncomfortable issues like the municipal budgets.
On May 1st, the Governor announced plans to re-open part of the state by restoring the right to conduct business to retail and other businesses and allowing restaurants to serve sit down guests outdoors. The next day, he released executive order 7-HH forbidding Connecticut municipalities from holding budget Town Meetings or Referendums. They are allowed to hold meetings and referendums on other topics, just not, specifically, allowed to hold town meetings or referendums about annual budgets.
This order came days after the United States Attorney General instructed U.S. Attorneys to aggressively prosecute municipal and state officials who obstruct individual’s civil rights, including the right to vote.
With hundreds signing petitions to demand restoration of the right to vote, we are certain that civil and criminal charges will be filed at the state and also the local level here in Connecticut. But it will also require citizen participation to win back these rights. Sign a petition. Call and write your state representatives. Democracy is a verb. Get out and do it or risk losing it. This is urgent, because once truly lost, it may take generations to win our rights back.