Making Democracy Work

Caitlin Clarkson Pereira


Caitlin Clarkson Pereira

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LWVFF - Do you support either in-person early voting and/or expanded use of absentee ballot (mail-in) voting? Why or why not?
CCP - I support voting, period. We must eliminate any possible excuse for someone not to cast a vote. Connecticut does not have a law which requires an employer to grant its employees leave--either paid or unpaid--to vote. Even when the polls are open from 6am to 8pm, there are some people who cannot reasonably reach their specific polling place. Consider commuters who may take the first train to New York City and return home after dark. Consider shift workers who may be asked to stay later than scheduled. What about a woman who happens to go into labor on Election Day and is birthing a child instead of standing at the polls? Absentee ballots are an option, but only with the proper notice. There are countless ways in which a person's day can shift and suddenly complicate their chances of getting out to vote. Early voting and expanded use of absentee ballots increase voter turnout by increasing the window for people to participate. I believe both methods should be put in place to make voting more accessible. Early voting allows stay-at-home moms to add stopping at the polls to their list of errands on a day that works for them or for an elderly man to avoid the crowds and take his time with the ballot. Absentee ballots mean that a businessman called away on an emergency business trip in early November can drop his ballot in the mail on the way to the airport or someone being asked to work overtime can still participate. There's no downside to increasing voter participation and every option should be utilized to make that happen.

LWVFF - Will you sponsor or support legislation to require disclosure of campaign-related activities by PACs, SuperPACs, and other "dark money" organizations?
CCP - I absolutely support any legislation that requires the disclosure of campaign-related activities. I am a candidate participating in the Citizens' Election Program which has funded my campaign in return for a full transparency of the spending. It's time to take special interests out of politics and transparency is the way to do this. Voters deserve to understand who and what is funding political campaigns in order to make fully informed choices at the polls.

LWVFF - Since all of the states that border CT now charge tolls or user fees for the use of their highways or bridges, should CT install electronic tolls? If so, how should that revenue be used?
CCP - Our infrastructure is ranked 41st in the country and our road quality is ranked 43rd. (Read more here). Bottom line--We need revenue to take care of our roads. Tolls are a topic that I have heard countless mixed messages on, from their possible locations to cost. I look at a toll as a "usage fee," much like paying for Metro North or taking the bus. We wouldn't expect to use those services for free. But without all the facts and numbers in front of me to predict the impact on our drivers and the return on investment, I am open to hearing both sides of the discussion. There are other options such as a gas tax or charging based on how many miles are put on a car annually. But no more guessing; no more throwing numbers on the wall to see what sticks. The residents of CT deserve better than that. We have seen the need for this money for a long time, yet have continued to kick it down the road. The revenue should be put in a transportation lockbox.

LWVFF - If elected would you support establishing an independent citizens redistricting commission--similar to California's-- to draw legislative district lines after the next census? Would you support open meetings and public hearing by CT's redistricting commission?
CCP - I would support establishing an independent citizens redistricting commission to redraw district lines after the next census. I also support open meetings and public hearings by the redistricting commission. I think districts need to be designed by a non-governmental group who can be objective about the task. There should be no bias or discrimination in determining district lines and there is no way for that to be done by folks involved in politics. Better yet, let's follow the footsteps of Ventura, California, where the city turned the task of redrawing their city council districts over to the community and provided the tools for the public to submit district maps for consideration. (Read more here)

The questions above have been created by the League of Women Voters of Fairfield.

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