State senator denies joining group calling for audit of 2020 election
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.