Video: Hartford Courant interviews of the Secretary of the State candidates

We appreciate the Courant and CT-N for making these interviews available to the public, providing an additional unique opportunity for voters to learn about the candidates positions and personalities. We recommend listening to both interviews to gain a perspective beyond the few quotes we include below.

However, we note several criticisms of the interviews:

  • The questions are limited to those areas of interest to the Editorial Board and are shaped by their ideas for change. We note the absence of any questions about voting integrity, voting systems for those with disabilities, supporting military and overseas voters, ballot initiatives, or our relationship to vendors responsible for servicing our election equipment and programming our elections. Although the candidates did touch just a little bit on election integrity and the security of mail and internet voting.
  • The Board asked Farrell but not Merrill, how he differed from his opponent.
  • The Board asked Farrell but not Merrill, if he would have chosen the same equipment as Secretary Bysiewicz.
  • The Board asked Farrell but not Merrill, if he was going to keep any lists of people he would be doing business with.
  • The Board asked Farrell but not Merrill, if he would keep a list of people who called the office to ask for help.
  • The Board asked Merrill but not Farrell, about the law providing for three registrars if a third-party registrar is elected.
  • The Courant Editorial Board seems, at this time, to find it amusing that there are “Voting Integrity Activists In Connecticut” and that they have met some such activists (see the Farrell interview). For the record, to my knowledge, I have never met a member of the Courant Editorial Board. However, not so long ago, the Courant thanked voting integrity activists, including me, in one of their editorials for “willingness to shoulder civic responsibility and to apply their expertise and vigilance to the cause has helped to protect and strengthen voting in Connecticut”.

Denise Merrill <view>

A few quotes of interest to CTVotersCount readers:

[More participation] is the core mission of this job”
“We should do everything we can to make voting easy”
“I want want really very much to have the no-excuse absentee ballot”
“[election day registration] not until we have a really good statewide voter file…not an efficient system yet”
“I’d like to focus on more consistent procedures for everyone”
Should the hurdles for third-party candidates be lowered: “I don’t think so. The system as it is is pretty fair”
“People still by and large trust the system”
100% Mail-in voting, like Colorado, with permanent absentee status?
“They invested a lot in their voting systems…something we ought to consider…maybe something like same day registration would increase participation more with less risk”

Jerry Farrell: <view>

A few quotes of interest to CTVotersCount readers:

Three roles as I would see it: First voting…secondly…business registrar…thirdly…custodian of state records which I would capitalize on”
[More Participation] If we were to go different route on how we conduct elections, there could be financial repercussions to the towns and cities…I am for amending the law…to get rid of the provision that calls for an excuse to be given to get the absentee ballot”
“I would be very careful about same day registration…there is no way as it is presently configured for the polling official to find out if that person is registered elsewhere…you would need some type of electronic hook-up…that has a cost to it”
“At the end of the day…voting must have the greatest amount of integrity to it”
“Voting integrity activists…have absolutely impressed on me…the fact that absolute paper trail is such a necessity.”
“It would be very hard for me to be out there running
[without public financing]…I am a very firm advocate of it…we cannot have a system [where the] third parties [have an] absolutely impossible impediment”


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