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Proposed Bill 862: A Step Backwards for Voter Transparency and Clarity

A recent article reported on proposed legislation that would ensure specific wording on local referendum questions in the 2023 Connecticut General Assembly. While the intentions of the bill, Proposed Bill 862, are to increase the clarity and simplicity of the language presented to voters in municipal referendum questions, this legislation is not the solution to the problem it aims to address.

Firstly, the bill is based on the premise that voters are not capable of understanding the language used in local referendums. This is not only insulting to the intelligence of voters, but it also undermines the democratic process. Voters have the right to make informed decisions, and it is not the government's role to simplify or manipulate the language used in these questions to ensure a certain outcome.

Secondly, the bill would create a system in which the Secretary of the State would review local questions for “standards of clarity”. This would add unnecessary bureaucracy to the voting process and could lead to delays and confusion. It is not the role of the Secretary of State to dictate the wording of local referendums, and this bill would give them too much power over the democratic process.

Thirdly, the bill would limit the ability of local governments to word questions in a way that is most effective for their community. By mandating specific wording, the bill would take away the autonomy of local governments to craft questions that are tailored to the needs and concerns of their community.

Finally, it is important to remember that the responsibility for ensuring clarity and transparency in local referendums lies not only with the government, but also with the voters themselves. It is the duty of voters to inform themselves about the issues before casting their ballots. By taking an active role in the democratic process, voters can ensure that they are making informed decisions.

In conclusion, Proposed Bill 862 is not the solution to the problem it aims to address. It is insulting to the intelligence of voters, creates unnecessary bureaucracy, limits the autonomy of local governments, and shifts the responsibility for clarity and transparency away from the voters themselves. The government should trust in the ability of voters to make informed decisions and allow them to do so without manipulation or interference.

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