Dear Secretary Merrill,
As you begin the implementation of your plan for the administration of the upcoming elections in August and November, we strongly urge you to consider a number of factors including the impact on taxpayers, the burden on municipalities, and above all, the constitutional ramifications as you proceed.
The next few months will have a lasting effect on the future of elections in Connecticut. We want to ensure that decisions made now are not short-sighted and honor our state constitution. The right to vote is a fundamental right and the very basis of our democracy.
In an effort to fully understand your intentions, we respectfully request that you provide answers to the following questions:
• Can you provide details regarding the cost implications of your plan to the state budget? Do you anticipate costs to the state that exceed those covered by the federal government?
• How will you choose the vendor to assist with the administration of the new ballot boxes? How will you determine which mail house to contract with to mail out the absentee ballots?
• Can you please describe the security procedures for the new ballot boxes? How can we ensure a proper chain of custody for the ballots deposited in these new boxes?
• What is the reasoning for utilizing ballot boxes when the United States Postal Service is available?
• Will absentee ballot applications be sent out to inactive voters?
• Do you intend to send absentee ballot applications to a targeted set of voters if so, what will the criteria be (i.e. age)?
• Will municipalities be required to designate a machine for only absentee ballots?
• When will absentee ballots be tallied – on Election Day or as the ballots come in or nightly?
• What is the screening process should a voter arrive in person at the polls on Election Day who has already voted by absentee ballot?
• Will absentee ballots received after 8 p.m. on Election Day be counted?
Thank you in advance for your answers to these questions. We are in an unprecedented time and it is imperative that we act in a transparent manner that assures that we respect the constitutional rights of all citizens.
Representative Themis Klarides
Representative Vincent Candelora