In September 2004, the Brennan Center filed the first lawsuit in the county to seek Election Day registration as a cure for the disenfranchisement of eligible voters. The suit, filed in federal district court, challenged as unconstitutional Connecticuts voter registration deadline. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit were individuals who were disenfranchised by the 14-day deadline in the November 2, 2004 election, as well as several organizations: ACORN, Connecticut Common Cause, Connecticut Citizen Action Group, Connecticut Public Interest Research Group, People for the American Way, and Working Families Party. The defendant was the Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, who has been a long-time proponent of Election Day registration. The case went to trial in May 2005; on December 15, 2005, the judge ruled in favor of the Secretary of State.
In response to the litigation, Connecticut dropped its registration deadline to seven days before an election, which is now the latest deadline in the nation short of full Election Day registration. Legislative efforts to achieve Election Day registration continue in Connecticut and elsewhere.
Important Legal Documents