Connecticut Republicans launched a Citizen Voter Fraud Task Force Thursday that seeks to put a stop to “decades of irresponsible Democrat leadership” that has led to a “voting system full of irregularities and bad data,” the state GOP chairman said.
J.R. Romano outlined, as the state’s primary election approaches in August:
Our voter rolls are a mess, with dead and moved voters remaining eligible to vote for years. Now Secretary of the State Denise Merrill has made an already bad system even worse by unilaterally sending tens of thousands of absentee ballot applications to voters across the state.
If you see any Voter Fraud or get any absentee ballots for non eligible voters please text Fraud to 555888 or go to our website https://t.co/qTIGxdA2kG and Click on Voter Fraud!@SenatorFasano @RepTKlarides @CTGOPChair @SOTSMerrill @NedLamont #FreeElections #LeadRight pic.twitter.com/YgYU1H9Q0b
— CT GOP (@CTGOP) July 9, 2020
The new task force comes as Merrill, a Democrat, sent out 1.2 million unsolicited absentee ballot applications to all Democrats and Republicans listed as active voters in the state, to be used for the August primary.
Approximately 100,000 of the absentee ballots sent, however, were returned to Merrill’s office as undeliverable, a portion which she said represents only eight percent of applications and is far below the 15 percent the National Association of Secretaries of State describes as ordinary for such mailings.
According to CT Mirror, Merrill said by mailing absentee ballots to every active voter in the state she is simply purging inactive voters from the list.
“Basically, he’s criticizing helping local registrars who are updating the lists,” she said about Romano.
But, Romano and State Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R) said the number of undeliverable ballots returned to Merrill’s office demonstrates a potential opportunity for voter fraud.
— CT GOP (@CTGOP) July 7, 2020
According to the news report, Merrill accused Romano of echoing President Donald Trump’s assertions that voting by mail encourages fraud.
Former President Barack Obama (D) said vote by mail ballots for all registered voters should be available due to the coronavirus pandemic:
Voting by mail shouldn't be a partisan issue––especially during a pandemic. Everybody should be able to request an absentee ballot, and make their voice heard in every election. https://t.co/enlhkichz3
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 13, 2020
However, in June, Breitbart News reported Obama distributed an email soliciting donations to fight “voter suppression” by advocating for a vote-by-mail system.
“The message was sent out by Obama on behalf of All On The Line, a campaign launched by the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) which was formed after Obama’s political organization Organizing for Action (OFA) merged with his former Attorney General Eric Holder’s National Redistricting Action Fund (NRAF),” the report noted.
Additionally, on Thursday, the Department of Justice announced a mail carrier in Virginia’s Pendleton County pleaded guilty to election fraud, reportedly by changing the party affiliation on absentee ballot requests. Breitbart News reported:
Thomas Cooper, the mail carrier who had a U.S. Postal Service contract to deliver mail in Virginia’s Pendleton County, pleaded guilty to one count of “Attempt to Defraud the Residents of West Virginia of a Fair Election” and one count of “Injury to the Mail” after altering the party affiliation on at least five absentee ballot request forms.
Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said he backed Merrill’s mass mailing of applications for the August primary and is supporting the same action for November.
“It makes it easier for people to vote, and I think we can do that with real integrity,” Lamont said. “I think it makes a fair amount of sense, but I’m willing to listen to alternatives.”
In a special session, the Democrat-led General Assembly will consider a measure that would permit anyone to vote by absentee ballot in the general election, barring a vaccine for the virus caused by the COVID-19 infection by that time.
With the establishment of the GOP’s Citizen Voter Fraud Task Force, however, Romano said, “We are empowering individuals to stop their votes being cancelled out by illegitimate ballots.”
“Working in tandem with our local Republican Town Committees, we are dedicated to ensuring the integrity of Connecticut elections,” he added.