Fasano Responds to Secretary Merrill’s Delayed and Inadequate Response to Bridgeport Absentee Ballot Concerns

September 20, 2019

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement after learning that now, only after Hearst Media published a scathing article on the absentee ballot irregularities in the Bridgeport primary, is Secretary of the State Merrill finally doing something about the absentee ballot concerns raised by Senator Moore and Senator Fasano by asking the SEEC to investigate.

“Secretary Merrill does absolutely nothing when Senator Moore raises concerns. She does absolutely nothing when I echo those concerns. But now, because she looks bad in the press, she finally speaks to say that maybe another agency should perhaps investigate the disturbing alleged abuse of the state’s absentee ballot system. The Secretary of the State’s job is to protect Democracy in our state and ensure every vote is counted fairly and equally. Yet when asked multiple times to look at Bridgeport she has refused. Even now, her response as the person responsible for maintaining the public’s trust in the entire voting system is severely lacking. It shows a greater concern for public appearance than actually protecting voters.

“Clearly the absentee ballot system in the state needs to be closely examined, not just by the SEEC, but by the Secretary of the State’s Office as well. I am not asking Secretary Merrill to enforce violations of state law, but I am asking that she investigate and look into concerns when raised so that she can understand and potentially fix the issues within the system she oversees. While she has shied away from taking an active role in improving the system in place today, she has spent quite a bit of time advocating to expand the very same fraud-ridden absentee ballot system to allow for no-excuse early voting. Perhaps before the Secretary of the State expands a system, she should make sure its operating free from fraud today.

“Secretary Merrill takes every opportunity she can to warn people about election interference on the national level and Washington politics, saying earlier this week that she ‘fears for our country’ because of future election interference in 2020. But when it comes to her own backyard and the communities and voters here in Connecticut she has been silent. She has ignored Senator Moore and dismissed my concerns. Oddly enough, her letter responding to my concerns came with a cautionary message that making claims of fraud unsupported by evidence ‘runs the risk of undermining Connecticut voters’ faith in the electoral process and discouraging voters from making their voices heard.’ I guess when politics are at play, she doesn’t listen to her own advice.”