To the Editor:
As we begin a new year, one can’t help but read or hear about “New Year’s Resolutions”. What are we reassessing, what do we want to do better, change and improve? When it comes to government policy and service to citizens, a key area for change is our election security. This is a great place to start for the Connecticut Secretary of State’s office.
This unique office is unlike most other elected offices in our state because it is constitutionally and statutorily bound to serve the interests of all citizens, businesses and state government. It is not, and should never be a partisan position, where party affiliation and election success for one’s party are the underlying values.
When one considers the exercise of exclusive government power that can have a major impact on citizens lives, we hold those officials to the highest legal and ethical standards. From law enforcement and the judiciary citizens expect transparency and integrity in every action.
Just like we expect the blind administration of justice, we must expect the same when it comes to ensuring secure elections. Courts not only disallow tainted evidence, cases are thrown out for violations of procedure which adversely affect the conduct of a fair trial. Both sides in a legal case are duty bound to full and transparent disclosure even when the evidence is helpful to the other side.
As United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts stated in the recent year-end report, “We are duty-bound to strive for 100% compliance because public trust is essential, not incidental, to our function. Individually, judges must be scrupulously attentive to both the letter and spirit of our rules…”
I believe the Connecticut Secretary of State is equally duty-bound to all citizens, regardless of party affiliation or non-affiliation because when it comes to elections, public trust is essential, not incidental. The burden of proof is on all election officials to demonstrate integrity and security of a fair elections process. The first step is openness and transparency. It also means holding all candidates and parties accountable to playing by the rules.
It is time to shine a bright light on those who campaign with a clear partisan agenda and instead stand together for the open, transparent and secure administration of our elections.
Candidate, Secretary of the State