Sen. Sampson exposes CT Democrats’ Intent for Expanded Absentee Balloting

September 30, 2022

State Sen. Rob Sampson (R-Wolcott), ranking member of the legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee (GAE), today issued a statement on Governor Ned Lamont’s recent campaign mailer that encourages the broad use of absentee balloting in Connecticut “due to the presence of COVID-19 in the state.”


In a large-font footer, the mailer includes the following prompt to recipients: “NOTE: This includes when a specific disease (such as COVID-19) is present, even when the voter themselves is not personally sick.” This absentee voting expansion was made possible by a 2022 Democrat measure, enacted into law following the legislative session.


During the 2022 session, Sen. Sampson repeatedly questioned the continued use of no-excuse absentee balloting because it runs counter to the Constitution of the State of Connecticut. Connecticut Democrats contend that the new law’s purpose is to “mirror” the state constitution but does not create universal absentee balloting. Sen. Sampson is well known for his consistent position on this matter, which prioritizes election integrity in addition to access for legal voters.


He said, “I have spoken at length about election integrity along with expanded access. You cannot have one without the other. Now we have Connecticut Democrats choosing expanded access specifically for their preferred voters. It is now clear why Democrats were so determined in 2022 to rewrite our election statutes undermining longstanding constitutional protections. No-excuse absentee voting is happening in our state today—despite being rejected by Connecticut voters less than a decade ago and without going through the proper legislative process and voter approval.


“How could any reasonable person see it any other way? I challenge Governor Lamont and his legislative allies to tell us exactly who is not eligible for an absentee ballot application in Connecticut based on their policy changes and actions. They have, in fact, made everyone eligible because Connecticut Democrats have misrepresented their intent of accessibility and safety to implement no-excuse absentee balloting by redefining the definition of illness and ignoring our state constitution.


“Regardless of the backdrop, the state’s constitution has been circumvented for a path to implement mail-in voting for political advantage. I sounded the alarm on this months ago. The argument that they are trying to help ‘everyone’ is a fraud. The Lamont campaign is identifying its preferred voters and providing those individuals with ballot applications via mail and simultaneously ignoring voters that they do not feel will support his re-election. They are certainly not sending one to me for example.


“Of course, Republicans with similar resources can now, and likely will, target their preferred voters. However, this circumstance does not overshadow the impropriety. It highlights it. Everyone should have equal access to voting – more evidence that the policy is unconstitutional and the motives behind it have always been partisan and political. Regardless of the Democrats’ rhetoric in committee hearings and in Senate debate, this measure has never been about improving access to all voters or maintaining secure elections—which has always been my top priority.”


Sen. Sampson’s colleague and fellow GAE ranking member State Rep. Gale Mastrofrancesco (R-Wolcott) agreed. She said, “There is a process for us to change election law prescribed by the state constitution. The change enacted by Democrats in 2022 that’s now being implemented undermines this governing document of our state. We are witnessing Democrat manipulation of the law to give themselves an advantage by mailing their preferred voters.


“Worse, there are now political operatives who are funding efforts to provide ballot access to certain individuals while others will not have that same access. For Democrats to contend that this measure is about ease or access to voting is disingenuous. They are not pulling applications for me or other families in our district.”


Sen. Sampson has been a leading voice in Hartford on the no-excuse absentee ballot issue. Relevant debate can be found here:


Senator Rob Sampson questions SOTS Merrill on election law changes in committee (GAE Committee, 3/4/2022)


Senator Sampson calls for election integrity at GAE Committee meeting (GAE Committee, 3/9/2022)


Senator Sampson’s Final Comments on HB 5262 An Act Revising Absentee Voting Eligibility (Senate Regular Session, 3/23/2022)