Legislators decided not to vote on an amendment that would have allowed 17-year-olds to vote in a primary election because the amendment called made an unintentional change to the legislation that would have prohibited 18-year-olds from voting in local elections prior to the general election.
Republican lawmakers pointed out that if the amendment passed it would have prohibited 18-year-olds from participating in a local referendum.
Rep. Arthur O’Neill, R-Southbury, said the way the amendment is written someone who is 17-years-old would be able to vote in a February primary. But, if that same person turns 18-years-old in April they would not be able to vote on a budget referendum in May, O’Neill said.
Rep. James Spallone, D-Essex, said that’s not the legislative intent. The intent is to allow 17 years olds who will turn 18 before the general election an opportunity to vote in a primary. He said when someone turns 18 they become an elector and should be able to vote on a local referendum.
But after some discussion Spallone decided the amendment he introduced was flawed, so he withdrew it. Rep. Walter Pawelkiewicz, D-Windham, asked for it to be passed temporarily.
Two other amendments to the bill were never called. One of the amendments written by Rep. John Piscopo, R-Thomaston, would have made the official language of Connecticut English, while the other introduced by Rep. William Aman, R-South Windsor, would have required full funding for the teacher’s retirement plan.