Lawmakers are considering legislation giving Connecticut employees up to four hours off work to vote in a regular or special election for any state, district, or municipal office.
"Requiring businesses to provide employees with four or more hours off during the work day to vote is yet one more cost, due to loss of productivity, that businesses must incur," Gjede testified March 12.
Gjede noted that current polling hours—6 am to 8 pm—give employees ample time to vote without interfering with work schedules.
"Exercising one's constitutional right to vote is important, and there are 14 hours in any given election day to do so," he said.
"Individuals who are aware their work will take them out of their district on election day can also vote via absentee ballot."
Exercising one's constitutional right to vote is important, and there are 14 hours in any given election day to do so.
"It is unclear what barrier exists to prevent individuals from voting before or after work," Gjede said.
"It is also atypical in most jurisdictions for it to take four hours to vote, even with travel time included, in our geographically small state."
Gjede said the proposal impedes an employer's ability to plan proper shift coverage, particularly in industries where employees care for children, the elderly, or those needing medical care.
"For this reason, we urge the committee to reject SB 358," he told the committee.