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Klarides, Candelora Communicate Concern Over Absentee Ballot Confusion

Posted on July 31, 2020


House Republican leadership on Friday sent a letter to Secretary of the State Denise Merrill over confusion tied to the absentee ballot applications she mailed to all voters eligible to participate in the Aug. 11 primary. Read the letter here, and see the statement from Reps. Themis Klarides and Vincent Candelora below.

“It’s become increasingly apparent that the Secretary of the State’s breakneck push to get absentee ballot applications into the mail is causing considerable problems for town clerks who, unfortunately, could be left to clean up what looks to be a mess. Secretary Merrill’s unilateral decision to use a third party vendor to do this is at the heart of the matter. Town clerks have received conflicting information about when ballots were mailed to voters who have requested them, and we’re concerned about whether Secretary Merrill’s office can tell people when they can expect their ballots let alone verify who has received them already. Even worse, we worry that the confusion has created a situation which undermines the impetus to mail the ballots to begin with—to make sure their votes are counted in the Aug. 11 primary, we fear that voters who have yet to receive their ballots are being instructed to leave their homes and go to town halls to get new ones, with the promise that the ballot mailed by the vendor will be voided. It’s critically important that Secretary Merrill be transparent about what’s happened, and whether she can provide municipalities with resources they may need to deal with this disconcerting situation through the pool of federal money she used to mail the applications.”