Accomplishments

Protecting and expanding the right of Connecticut citizens to participate in free and fair election

Protecting and expanding the right of Connecticut citizens to participate in free and fair election

Streamlining and modernizing Connecticut’s business services offerings.

2011

Near Unanimous, bipartisan passage of Election Integrity bill.

  • Required municipalities to report to SOTS numbers of ballots purchased for elections.
  • Required all CT municipalities have emergency plans for elections.
  • Gave SOTS or designee authority to enter polling places on Election Day, ensure for compliance with election laws, remove a moderator for cause.

Improved CONCORD database to 24/7 searchability for anyone looking for info on CT businesses.

Unprecedented outreach to more than 100,000 businesses regarding programs to help businesses by federal government, exporting, free help with websites through Google.

Passed major e-government bill – mandating online filing of business annual reports.

Led bipartisan disaster/crisis response for election preparedness following October snowstorm and major power outages – made sure all polling places had electricity and local officials could make contingency plans to make election preparations, move polling places if necessary.

Elected to chair Voter Participation of National Association of Secretaries of State.

Led unprecedented “CT Civic Health Index” – first ever measurement of Connecticut’s civic health

Led series of discussions and fact finding conversations looking into CT Election performance, looking for areas to improve voting experience for CT citizens, ways to cut costs, maximize efficiencies.

Collected more than $1.2 million in penalties from out of state companies operating without legal authority in CT.

2012

After years of attempts by others, worked with Gov. Malloy and legislature to pass major election reforms to make it easier to vote and easier to register to vote: Election Day Registration and Online Voter Registration.

Led drive to pass state constitutional amendment in general assembly and send to voters (on ballot in 2014) to open the door to early voting in CT.

Led drive to pass law granting permanent absentee ballot voting status for CT voters with chronic disabilities.
Successfully Implemented online filing of annual reports for CT businesses, saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, making filing much easier and more convenient.

Led disaster response for elections again, this time following Hurricane Sandy.

Organized and led new effort to train hundreds of election officials online.

Launched new effort to digitize reporting of election results – give local election officials new tools to manage pre and post election reports, moving from paper-based system to online.

Successfully implemented volunteer lawyer program for election day, providing nearly 150 volunteer attorneys trained in Election law available to enter polling places on Election Day to check for compliance with election laws if problems are reported.

Designed and provided election-related curriculum to CT social studies and civics teachers so young people can learn about elections in real time and be inspired to learn more about public service.

Collected more than $1.3 million in penalties from out of state companies operating without legal authority in CT.

Continued unprecedented outreach efforts to help CT businesses succeed.

2013

Worked with local officials to successfully implement Election Day Registration in CT for Election Day 2013 – more than 3,000 new CT voters were able to participate in elections.

Led national panel with Louisiana SOS Tom Schedler looking into emergency preparedness for elections, developed national report presented nationwide at NASS conference.

Led 2nd and final passage of constitutional amendment to open the doors to early voting in CT – sent amendment to November 2014 ballot for ratification by CT voters.

Worked with CT Dept. of Motor Vehicles to successfully implement online voter registration for 2014 launch.

Successfully implemented new permanent absentee ballot voting status for individuals with chronic disabilities.

Led trade mission to China with US Commerce Dept, representatives from CT aerospace, biotech and pharmaceutical industries.

Collected more than $1.5 million in penalties from out of state companies operating without legal authority in CT.

Continued unprecedented outreach efforts to help CT businesses succeed.

Continued development of new program to digitize reporting of election results – give local election officials new tools to manage pre and post-election reports, moving from paper-based system to online.

2014

Oversaw dramatic improvement in voter participation and turnout, return of overseas absentee ballots from among active duty CT military following successful implementation of federal MOVE Act to improve military voting (requiring electronic transfer of absentee ballots, major reduction in mail delays).

Launches unprecedented online business startup tool to help CT entrepreneurs navigate numerous government agencies to launch new business ventures successfully!

Successful implementation of online voter registration! So far more than 6,000 new CT voters have signed up, while another 2500 or so have gone online to change their registration.

CT named in top 10 states for most improved election performance by PEW Center on the States.

Led effort to pass elimination of fee to dissolve business, clean up business registry to remove “zombie” corporations (companies still listed as active businesses but that have been defunct for years).

Launches unprecedented statewide voter registration drive with CT coalition of human service nonprofit organizations serving populations under-represented in elections.

Wins international business award for launch of online business startup tool by Association of Commercial Administrators.

Collected more than $1.6 million in penalties from out of state companies operating without legal authority in CT.

Continued unprecedented outreach efforts to help CT businesses succeed.

Elected by her peers nationwide as Treasurer of National Association of Secretaries of State – slated to lead national bipartisan association of her peers in 2016.

Continued development of new program to digitize reporting of election results – give local election officials new tools to manage pre and post election reports, moving from paper-based system to online.

Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act with speech to NAACP.

Foreign investigations generates more than $1.6M from over 312 out of state businesses.

Launch of project with Data Collaborative to expand public’s access of state’s business data.

2015

In reaction to the epic meltdown in Hartford on Election Day, Merrill proposes wide sweeping changes that include professionalizing the Registrars of voters. The bill that ultimately passes includes key reforms such as: mandating certification training and ongoing training requirements of all Registrars, clarification of SOTS role to provide instructions and directives that must be followed by RoVs, and expedited investigation by SEEC or complaints referred by SOTS.

Merrill installed as NASS President.

Launch of new ergs site.

Launch of new RoV certification/training program.

2016

After proposing controversial bill to enact automatic voter registration, SOTS and DMV negotiate MOA to implement automatic voter registration.

SOTS receives correspondence from DoJ about DMV’s non compliance of motor voter law.

SOTS, DMV and DOJ reach agreement out of court and in August DMV implements new voter registration process that is largely automated and working group of SOTS DMV is convened to further develop the process and procure necessary equipment to implement fully automated system.

Online meeting notice system launched.

Launch Red white and blue school initiative with Dept of Ed.

Online business formation tool launched.

Roll out of new voting system for the disabled.

Received national award for eRegs site (Colburn Award).

CT ranked in top 5 for election performance.

Coach Geno does PSA for election.

Record number of registered voters tops 2008 numbers.

Total # registered using online system, DMV process.

Total # using EDR.

2017

Merrill participates in Women’s March.

Total % business filings using online process.

launch of data collaborative site with CT Business data.

100,000 new registered voters by 1 year anniversary of DMV system.

Merrill finishes term as NASS President.

Merrill national co chair of NASS task force on cyber security of elections.

Merrill pushes back on Trump, Pence and Kobach for Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

Proposes constitutional amendment for early voting. Passes House.

Recognizes schools with first ever Red White and Blue awards.