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Conn. Election, Legal Officials On Guard Against Voter Suppression

Vote Stickers
Matt Rourke
Officials reassure citizens their right to vote is protected during an unprecedented election.

Connecticut’s top election and law enforcement officials have pledged to enforce state and federal laws to prevent attempts at voter suppression. Their press conference comes after state Republicans sought to recruit an "army" of volunteers at the polls.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill has sent a letter to local election officials explaining that federal and state laws protect against voter suppression. She says the letter is in response to President Donald Trump’s call on his supporters to watch the polls to prevent rigging.

“We’ve never seen this in Connecticut. But this is an unusual year, tensions are running high. And I just want to make sure that everyone understands,” Merrill says.

Attorney General William Tong says his office is focused on making sure all voters can safely exercise their right to vote.

“Free from intimidation or suppression, or misinformation or disinformation.”

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Lawlor says his office would collaborate with the Connecticut U.S. Attorney’s office to prosecute cases of voter intimidation: “All of the laws that are criminal in nature involving these types of issues will be enforced.”

Fewer Connecticut voters are expected at the polls this year. Many have taken advantage of the expanded absentee ballots that are allowed during the pandemic.

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.