Website - Facebook - TwitterLWVFF - Do you support either in-person early voting and/or expanded use of absentee ballot (mail-in) voting? Why or why not?
Cristin McCarthy Vahey
CMV - The right and opportunity to vote are critical to a functioning and sustainable democracy. With sensible guidelines, I believe secure early in-person voting and expanded mail-in voting are both possible, and will strengthen our community. Unfortunately, the right to vote, which was a founding force for our country, has been diminished under the guise of protection against alleged voter registration fraud.
According to the nonpartisan National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL), at least 22 states allow at least some elections to be conducted by mail alone. As a former resident of one of the states that hold elections entirely by mail, I know firsthand how convenient and effective the process can be. Also according to NCSL, "In 37 states (including 3 that mail ballots to all voters) and the District of Columbia, any qualified voter may cast a ballot in person during a designated period prior to Election Day. No excuse or justification is required."
It is time for Connecticut to follow suit and expand voting options for our citizens.
LWVFF - Will you sponsor or support legislation to require disclosure of campaign-related activities by PACs, SuperPACs, and other "dark money" organizations?
CMV - I support complete transparency regarding financial support for political candidates and their campaigns. I am proud to have participated in Connecticut's Citizens' Election Program, public campaign financing, since my first campaign for state office in 2014. The role of special interests in politics has discouraged a vast majority of the American public from participating in our democratic elections. We need to reverse that trend and return the power of the polls to the American people.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?
CMV - Connecticut's roads, bridges, trains and buses are in dire need of improvement. Since we on the I-95 corridor provide the main means of transportation for people and goods travelling through the Northeast, those using our roads should contribute to their upkeep. Investments must be made not only to maintain what our Department of Transportation calls "state of good repair," but also to upgrade and modernize our transportation infrastructure. These investments are critical to Connecticut's ability to grow our economy and compete for business expansion.
A 14 member Commission on Fiscal Stability, including Connecticut CEOs and other business leaders reported, "The Commission regards tolls both as an inevitability (Connecticut is the only state on the Atlantic Coast without them) and as a means of developing a competitive revenue stream for investment purposes." The revenue from any such system must be segregated for use to repair and improve our transportation infrastructure. I supported the lockbox legislation that will be on the ballot for a vote this Election Day.
We must properly and fully fund our infrastructure needs and be prepared to make decisions on what funding sources we intend to utilize. Tolls are one viable option.
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?
CMV - Like voting itself, fair and impartial redistricting is vital to democracy. The process of drawing legislative districts must be nonpartisan and answer to the electorate as a whole, adhering to the one person one vote doctrine, complete with open public hearings and encouraged voter input. Short of that, we are in danger of falling into an inherited power system in our country.
The questions above have been created by the League of Women Voters of Fairfield.
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