Merrill, Garcia discuss contributions, increasing participation, and DeRosa’s exclusion from debate

New Haven Independent: Merrill At Public $$ Threshold; Garcia “Halfway” <read>

“I thought I should come down and reach out,” Merrill said during an interview at Bru Cafe.

Garcia is running to become the first Latino ever elected to statewide office in Connecticut. His campaign promises to dramatically increase the number of registered voters, including the pitch that his background would help him reach out to the state’s fast-growing Latino community. He has vowed to raise the percentage of people voting in presidential years from 80 to 90 percent, and in even-numbered off-years from 60 to 80 percent. He has endorsed the idea of same-day registration and of allowing people to cast votes over a period of weeks, rather than just on Election Day.

In the interview, Merrill, too, endorsed early-voting. She too vowed to boost registration numbers. While she’s open to same-day registration, she said she wants to make sure Connecticut upgrades its computerized voting rolls first so officials can handle it…

She also emphasized that boosting Latino registration numbers is part of a larger imperative: boosting the broader notion of citizenship.

“It’s much more complicated than just going out to get people to vote,” she said. “We need an entire dedication to citizen engagement. That’s why I’m running for secretary of the state.”

She said she wants to combat the “prevalent” notion that “government doesn’t matter.” She spoke of boosting high-school civics education and proposing a mandatory statewide standardized civics test similar to those administered for math and English. She previously sponsored a bill that made high school civics classes mandatory.

The candidates had more to say on these issues in the recently released Courant Editorial Board interviews, so did we.

…at a campaign debate earlier two weeks ago in Hartford. The sponsors invited Merrill and Garcia. They invite the Republican candidate for secretary of the state, Jerry Farrell. They didn’t invited the Green Party candidate, Mike DeRosa even though he has a spot on the November ballot. DeRose showed up. He asked to participate. The debate organizers said no. They said the debate was just for candidates running in primaries—however, Farrell doesn’t have a primary.

Merrill agreed that DeRosa should have been included. “I think it should have been one way or the other,” she said—either candidates involved in a primary, or all candidates running.

So why did she participate anyway?

“Well, it wasn’t my debate. They set it up. I was in a primary. I wasn’t going to be not part of the discussion because they didn’t set it up properly.”

Garcia said he had “never heard of” candidate DeRosa before the debate.

See: <Our coverage of the Hartford forum>

Merrill At Public $$ Threshold; Garcia “Halfway”Merrill At Public $$ Threshold; Garcia “Halfway”

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One response to “Merrill, Garcia discuss contributions, increasing participation, and DeRosa’s exclusion from debate”

  1. mattw

    In the interview, Merrill, too, endorsed early-voting. She too vowed to boost registration numbers. While she’s open to same-day registration, she said she wants to make sure Connecticut upgrades its computerized voting rolls first so officials can handle it…

    Upgrade the computerized voting rolls? Huh?

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