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Voting rights expansion dies in Connecticut statehouse

In the closing hours if its annual session, the Connecticut legislature killed multifaceted legislation designed to expand voting access.

A threatened Republican filibuster in the state Senate effectively ran out the clock on the bill Wednesday, a week after it passed the state House. It would have restored voting rights to parolees and incarcerated persons in halfway houses, expanded the number of sites permitting registration on Election Day, permitted electronic signatures on some election-related documents and instituted a system for automatically registering voters when they do business with the motor vehicle agency.

Senate GOP leader Len Fasano said his caucus was wary of expanding the DMV's ability to register voters and unified in opposing parolees' right to cast a ballot.

The Democratic majority attempted to make the bill more palatable to Republicans by dropping language that would have permitted registration and voting by people in line when the polls close on Election Day. Hundreds of would-be new voters were turned away in New Haven when nightfall came on Nov. 6.

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