CT GOP lawmakers: “Devastating reminder” that real election reform is needed

March 15, 2024

For Immediate Release

Sen. Republican Leader Stephen Harding, House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora, Sen. Rob Sampson, Ranking Senator on the Government Administration and Elections Committee, and Rep. Gale Mastrofrancesco, Ranking Representative on the Government Administration and Elections Committee issued the following statements on the Secretary of the State’s announcement of new referrals her office made to the State Elections Enforcement Commission which are related to the February Mayoral General Election redo in Bridgeport. The referrals included a report of a campaign offering cash in return for completed absentee ballots.

“The latest report about allegations of election ‘malfeasance’ out of Bridgeport, described today by Secretary Thomas, is a devastating reminder that our state offers bad actors the capacity to manipulate the outcome of our elections without fear,” Harding and Candelora said. “And why would they be afraid?  There’s no real threat of jail time, a situation that must change. Ensuring that residents have confidence in the integrity of our elections is a core responsibility of what we do, and if Democrats aren’t willing to lead on this issue right now by installing a mandatory penalty for criminal elections violations, they simply aren’t listening to Connecticut residents who are demanding—and certainly deserve—this level of reform.”

“The initial Bridgeport allegations were shocking enough, now there is a report of cash paid for absentee ballots,” Sampson and Mastrofrancesco said.  “How many times do violations and fraud have to occur before the Democrat majority joins us in taking significant steps to deter bad actors from tampering with our elections? The penalties must be significant because our elections are too important to put in jeopardy. Right now, bad actors keep breaking our election laws because they have no fear of going to jail. Our laws need to have teeth so people will think twice before they engage in this activity. It is the only way to stop it.”