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CT GOP leaders call for a bipartisan election integrity commission

House Minority Leader Vincent J. Candelora, R-North Branford.
Jessica Hill
House Minority Leader Vincent J. Candelora, R-North Branford.

Connecticut Republican legislative leaders want Gov. Ned Lamont and state Democrats to appoint a bipartisan commission on election integrity.

It’s in response to last week’s arrest of four people for alleged election fraud in Bridgeport.

"Connecticut has become a laughingstock of national conservative media following the arrest of the four people who worked for Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim’s 2019 campaign," said House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora.

“Bridgeport is actually showing us where our holes are in our elections. And so we believe it's time for us to get together, Republicans and Democrats, form a commission and give us real feedback on what type of reforms we can see,” he said at a media briefing in the state Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Thursday.

“We would argue that based on what has happened here with these arrests, if you are not putting election integrity and the safeguarding of our elections, prioritizing that over anything else as it relates to elections, then quite frankly, you are not doing your job as it relates to elections,” said Senate Minority Leader Stephen Harding.

Electoral reforms proposed by Republicans, including voter IDs, have been dismissed by Democrats.

“What is puzzling to me is the lack of ability from Democrats to actually address this issue," Harding said.

Proposals like the voter ID requirement are another Republican attempt to restrict the right to vote, Democratic leaders said in their response.

Democrats passed legislation this year requiring video surveillance of absentee ballot drop boxes.

It was introduced after a judge ordered a redo in Bridgeport’s Democratic primary election last year following video evidence of Mayor Ganim’s campaign workers stuffing absentee ballot boxes.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.