Connecticut Republicans Want Top Ballot Billing, But Merrill Says No

State GOP leaders asked election officials to put their candidates at the top of all ballots, but the secretary of the state has denied their request.

Connecticut Republicans are asking election officials to switch the order of how the two main political parties appear on ballots everywhere in the state and are asking that Republican candidates be placed at the top of all ballots.

State GOP leaders made the request in a letter hand-delivered Thursday to  Denise Merrill, Connecticut's secretary of the state. You can view a PDF of the letter above.

The order in which party candidates appear on the election ballot is determined by which party candidate gets the most votes in a gubernatorial election. Republicans for decades have done so and, as a result, that party has taken the top ballot line for many years.

But in 2010 Democrat Dannel P. Malloy won the gubernatorial election here and in 2011 Democrats were given the top ballot spot. But in their letter to Merrill, leaders in the GOP say the switch was made in error and they want it reversed this election.

Republicans argue that between the two major parties in 2010 Republican Tom Foley, who lost to Malloy, actually had more votes than Malloy when compared solely to Malloy's Democratic ballots. Malloy was also listed on the ballot as the candidate of the Working Families Party and outpolled Foley when those two ballot line votes were combined.

“Though Candidate Dannel Malloy polled the most votes overall, he did so by combining the totals of two separate party lines,” the letter says.

Merill's office issued a press release Friday morning, effectively denying the GOP request. In part, Merrill wrote, "Applying these definitions to the issues at hand, we come to a different resuit than the one you suggest in your inquiry. You correctly identify the candidates for Governor; however, you do not differentiate between the appearance of a candidate on the ballot by “party” nomination and  by nominating petition with a “party designation.” Taking this crucial difference into account results inthe conclusion reached by my offìce in 2011; the Democratic Party is listed on the first row on the ballot followed by the Republican Party listed on the second row."

John July 27, 2012 at 03:39 PM
You're kidding yourself Paul if you don't think stuff like this happens on both sides. I say follow whatever the rule is for how candidates are to be listed and be done with it. If the Republicans are correct in their protest, then so be it. if not, then so be it as well.
Marcie July 27, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I want a box that says, "None of the Above."
Saul Freedman July 27, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Markoni July 29, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Don’t let the innocent-sounding name fool you. The Working Families Party is a minor political party begun in New York state in 1998 by Daniel Cantor, a former staffer of Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign. Cantor transferred his socialist-democratic-progressive ideas and vision from his now defunct New Party to WFP, with the enlistment of the “usual suspects” of mega-community organizers like ACORN, SEIU and other labor unions. In 2009 Connecticut Working Party Executive Director Jon Green was accused of lobbying without wearing the proper identification. He was put on notice as to the requirements of state ethics laws. In 2011 Green received a $10,000 fine for illegally performing lobbying efforts. In CT the Working Family Party, is supporting SEIU/CCAG leader and organizer Christopher Donovan for Connecticut's 5th Congressional seat. Donovans staff engaged in a conspiracy to direct $27,500 in “conduit campaign contributions” — contributions that conceal the identity of the real donors —roll your own tax free cigarette shops-- to influence legislation before the State House. WFP also are supporting Chris Murphy for the Connecticut Senate seat which is being vacated by Joe Lieberman. Chris Murphy is a protege of Chris Dodd. Cross endorsement of major candidates by minor parties is a dirty trick!
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