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Denise Merrill, Connecticut Secretary Of The State, Will Not Run For Re-Election

Conn. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill
Jessica Hill
Conn. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill

Connecticut’s top election official, Denise Merrill, said her dream when she first took elected office 30 years ago was to end her career as Secretary of the State. On Wednesday, she did just that.

Merrill announced on the lawn of the state Capitol that she would not seek re-election to a fourth term. Her term ends in January 2023.

Merrill said most of what she had set out to do when she was first elected in 2011 has been accomplished but she isn’t retiring just yet because she’s focused on accomplishing a few more goals during the rest of her term.

She championed voting rights and rallied for no-excuse absentee ballots after administering a historic presidential election during the pandemic.

In her final remarks, she asked for more support for programs that get women and people of color involved in public office.

“I look forward to working on my twin passions: expanding access to the franchise to every eligible voter and fighting the insidious spread of misinformation about our elections through civic education and civic engagement," Merrill said. "I will be lending a hand to pass the constitutional amendments to allow voters to vote by their choice, by absentee ballot in person before election day or at their local polling places.”

Merrill said her most challenging times in office were during 2016 dealing with the threat of foreign powers trying to affect election results in Connecticut and then last year the pandemic that put enormous stress on an election system designed for one day of voting.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.