Connecticut Republicans are asking election officials to switch the order of how the two main political parties appear on ballots everywhere in the state and are asking that Republican candidates be placed at the top of all ballots.
State GOP leaders made the request in a letter hand-delivered Thursday to Denise Merrill, Connecticut's secretary of the state. You can view a PDF of the letter above.
The order in which party candidates appear on the election ballot is determined by which party candidate gets the most votes in a gubernatorial election. Republicans for decades have done so and, as a result, that party has taken the top ballot line for many years.
But in 2010 Democrat Dannel P. Malloy won the gubernatorial election here and in 2011 Democrats were given the top ballot spot. But in their letter to Merrill, leaders in the GOP say the switch was made in error and they want it reversed this election.
Republicans argue that between the two major parties in 2010 Republican Tom Foley, who lost to Malloy, actually had more votes than Malloy when compared solely to Malloy's Democratic ballots. Malloy was also listed on the ballot as the candidate of the Working Families Party and outpolled Foley when those two ballot line votes were combined.
“Though Candidate Dannel Malloy polled the most votes overall, he did so by combining the totals of two separate party lines,” the letter says.
Merill's office issued a press release Friday morning, effectively denying the GOP request. In part, Merrill wrote, "Applying these definitions to the issues at hand, we come to a different resuit than the one you suggest in your inquiry. You correctly identify the candidates for Governor; however, you do not differentiate between the appearance of a candidate on the ballot by “party” nomination and by nominating petition with a “party designation.” Taking this crucial difference into account results inthe conclusion reached by my offìce in 2011; the Democratic Party is listed on the first row on the ballot followed by the Republican Party listed on the second row."