Testimony on powers of the Secretary of the State

Today I attended a public hearing of the Government Administration and Elections Committee. My intention was to listen to the meeting before the hearing, and listen to the hearing which was mostly on ethics related bills. One bill H.B. 5026 covered the emergency powers of the Secretary of the State.

Denise Merrill, Secretary of the State testified in favor of the bill. The Committee asked some insightful questions related to the scope and execution of the powers in the bill. I realized there were some additional important distinctions which should be included to expand and limit the bill, along with a related power the Committee should consider for unnatural disasters:

  • The word “elections” can be ambiguous the bill should explicitly cover “elections, primary elections, and special elections”.
  • The bill should be limited to postponing only entire elections, primary elections, and special elections.
  • The Secretary should have the power to call for discrepancy recanvasses, not just a single individual in each municipality.

See our full written testimony <read>



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