In the race for Connecticut’s open state and Congressional seats, the Republicans will be on top — at least on top of the ballot.
The state Supreme Court issued a decision on Wednesday, Sept. 26, that requires the Republican Party’s candidates for office in the Nov. 6 election be placed on the first line of the ballots.
State law gives the top line of the ballot to the party of the winner of the most recent gubernatorial race. Because that winner was Democrat Dannel Malloy, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill had planned to list Democrats first on the ballots.
However, the Republican Party of Connecticut challenged that decision, based on the fact Mr. Malloy received fewer votes on the Democratic line than his Republican opponent Tom Foley had on the Republican line. Mr. Malloy had been cross-endorsed by the Working Families Party, and it was these votes that gave him the victory in the governor’s race.
“While I am surprised at the outcome today, I am confident that my office interpreted the statute in good faith and with due diligence,” Ms. Merrill said in a press release issued Sept. 26. “My staff interpreted the law back in 2011, for the municipal election ballot that year, relying on recent precedent, thorough research and a careful analysis of the statute. The Supreme Court disagrees with our view, and I respect the court’s final decision in this matter. The Republican Party will be on the top line of the ballot in accordance with the court’s order.”
Although ballot information from municipalities across the state was due by Sept. 15, the Secretary of the State’s office had been holding off on printing ballots until the Supreme Court made its decision. Ms. Merrill said she is pleased the court made its decision in time for ballots to be printed accurately.
“With the timing of this decision, we now feel confident that absentee ballots should be available for distribution by town clerks by the Oct. 5 statutory deadline,” she said in her release.