HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Gov. Ned Lamont has signed an executive order that will allow people to use the continuing COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to vote by absentee in any election, primary or referendum held before May 20. The Democrat's order, which he signed Tuesday, is similar to the order that allowed voters to use absentee ballots during the elections in 2020. Lamont's order also provides municipalities and regional school boards with additional flexibility in scheduling budget hearings, meetings, and votes to account for logistical challenges posed by the pandemic. Meanwhile, the state reported 1,074 confirmed or probable new cases of COVID-19 since Monday.