Statement Regarding Senate’s Rejection of Amendment to Bring Justice to Stratford Voters

May 8, 2019

State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) released the following statement in reaction to Democrat lawmakers in the state Senate voting against an amendment to require future election disputes be settled by the Judicial Branch. This amendment mirrors a proposal offered by Senator Kelly earlier this year to address the inaction by lawmakers to address a botched election in Stratford in which voters received incorrect ballots. Sen. Kelly’s proposal was denied a public hearing by the Government Administration and Elections Committee. Today, Sen. Kelly offered the amendment to a bill that would alter the state’s constitution regarding early voting.

“I’m disappointed that the disenfranchisement of 75 voters continues to be ignored by the General Assembly. At a time when the legislature is having a debate about ensuring people have an opportunity to vote, lawmakers are again turning a blind eye to the fact that dozens of people were denied that opportunity in Stratford last year. We are debating changes to voting practices defined in our constitution, while people in our town were never given an Election Day opportunity as defined in our constitution in the first place. To this day, the people of Stratford have never been given a fair election with a fair, equal vote. In fact, lawmakers in Connecticut have refused to do anything to mitigate this problem even in the future. Why? Because of politics. If lawmakers are truly concerned about voting accessibility, we need Election Day integrity. When a dispute arises, we need a nonpartisan referee to assess the situation and ensure the fundamental rights of the citizens of our state are protected and restored if ever denied. The amendment I proposed would put the Judicial Branch in charge of ensuring those rights are preserved for state Senate and state House elections, just as it is for every other election in our state. It’s a proposal that honors separation of powers and ensures politics do not get in the way of justice. I’m disappointed that this amendment did not garner bipartisan support. The best interest of all voters should not be a partisan issue.”