Making Democracy Work

Laura M Devlin


Laura M Devlin

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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?
LD - I support all measures that help those who are eligible to vote in our elections to do so. In person early voting is something I would consider supporting as a convenience for those that may have difficulty getting to the polls on election day, as long as the parameters are clearly defined and consistently applied across the state, which was not the case with legislation discussed in the 2018 session. One of these parameters would be the length of time before election day that in-person early voting would be permitted. In the 2016 election, some voters who had voted by absentee ballot wanted to take their votes back after some late-breaking news. Because they had voted by absentee, they were able to do so, but with early voting, they would not. The integrity of our elections is of utmost importance and when there have been claims of voter fraud, it has been found largely with the use of absentee ballots. On that basis, if the use of absentee ballots were to be expanded, there should also be some method of ensuring the results of those ballots are audited

LWVFF - Will you sponsor or support legislation to require disclosure of campaign-related activities by PACs, SuperPACs, and other "dark money" organizations?
LD - I welcome any efforts to make our elections and campaign finance process more transparent and would support legislation to require such disclosures as part of broader efforts to tighten our campaign finance laws. When enacted, Connecticut's campaign finance laws were the strictest in the nation and a model to support clean elections. Regrettably, over time those laws have been weakened and loopholes exist that allow donors to funnel money into legislative and state races that were not intended with the original legislation. For example, many legislators have created PACs to funnel money into their colleagues' races, ad books have been reinstated, and more.

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?
LD - We frequently hear that `everyone else does it' so we should too but Connecticut residents already pay more in collective taxes than residents in any other state in the nation. What I hear over and over again from voters is their concern about our state's economy and their ability to be able to afford to stay here. Connecticut's plan for tolls isn't just border tolls or tolls on just out of state vehicles, (neither is allowed), instead it is for between 80-100 toll across our state + over 22 between the New York border and New Haven on both the Merritt and I-95. Of the $600-800 million in revenue, tolls are projected to bring in, 70% would come from Connecticut residents and 70% of that would come from Fairfield County. For those who commute from Fairfield to Stamford, the cost is estimated to be $30 each week. Connecticut has some of the highest gas and car taxes in the nation to fund our infrastructure and we need to be sure that money is used for projects that will provide the greatest economic return to the state. Regrettably, the ballot resolution this November will include a lockbox provision that does not provide any more protection for those funds than the existing Special Transportation Fund.

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?
LD - I support efforts to eliminate gerrymandering and ensuring a fair, impartial and transparent process for defining district lines, so I would certainly be open to learning more about it and giving it careful consideration.

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

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