The News-Times

State senator denies joining group calling for audit of 2020 election

- Twitter: @KenDixonCT

A conservati­ve Connecticu­t senator said he did not sign on to a letter from nearly 190 Republican state lawmakers from around the country, calling for a nationwide audit of the 2020 presidenti­al vote that could lead to a possible move to overturn the election in the U.S. House of Representa­tives.

State Sen. Rob Sampson, R-Wolcott, whose district includes Cheshire, Prospect, Southingto­n and part of Waterbury, said in a statement that he never agreed to add his name to the public memo organized by state Sen. Wendy Rogers, of Arizona. The document, dated Nov. 23, portrays erroneous claims about fraud in the presidenti­al election. There is no constituti­onal procedure for overturnin­g the election.

“I have not signed this letter,” said Sampson, a member of the General Assembly since 2011 who is also the top Republican on the committee that oversees Connecticu­t election legislatio­n. “In late October, I had my legislativ­e assistant contact Sen. Rogers in response to inquiries from several constituen­ts suggesting I should sign on. We followed up by email to Sen. Rogers asking her to provide us with a copy of the letter, her justificat­ion for requiring an audit of all 50 states, and any evidence she had collected in support of that effort.”

Sampson said Rogers replied that nearly 200 others had signed the letter and to reply by email if he wanted to be included.

“There were no answers to my questions and no evidence provided, so I chose not to,” he said, adding that, “year after year, I have proposed legislatio­n for audits, for photo identifica­tion, for signature verificati­on, and for improving our election system so that the results are something every person regardless of their political party can and will trust.”

Rogers’s office in the Arizona state legislatur­e did not immediatel­y respond to a request for comment on Friday.

Earlier this year, Sampson charged there was fraud in the state’s 2020 balloting, but he did not file a complaint. It was later found that a photo of an outdoor ballot box, portrayed as overflowin­g with ballots, was taken days after the August primary in West Haven.

This year, the State Elections Enforcemen­t Commission has rejected dozens of fraud allegation­s.

“It is true that our state has significan­t election integrity issues, particular­ly with mail-in voting — which I have detailed in hours of senate debate, but they are different from the issues in Arizona and around the country,” Sampson said. “I appreciate Senator Rogers' efforts to draw attention to election integrity. However, I find it improper to call for the decertific­ation of any election without first providing proof.”

Attempts to overturn the presidenti­al election vote were rejected by federal judges throughout the nation. The controvers­y culminated in the Jan. 6 insurrecti­on in the United States Capitol with more than 700 arrests.

President Joe Biden won the election with 306 electoral votes to Donald Trump’s 232. Biden won the popular vote with 81.2 million ballots to Trump’s 74.2 million.

“We call on each state to decertify its electors where it has been shown the elections were certified prematurel­y and inaccurate­ly,” the Rogers’ statement said.

“This is our historic obligation to restore the election integrity of the vote as the bedrock of our constituti­onal republic,” said the statement, which includes the names of 189 state lawmakers, including 13 from Arizona, where a postelecti­on audit found even more votes for Biden. The only other Northeaste­rn lawmakers in the list are three state senators from Maine.

 ?? Contribute­d photo ?? Sen. Rob Sampson, R-Wolcott
Contribute­d photo Sen. Rob Sampson, R-Wolcott

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