Meet Denise – Secretary of the State
Denise W. Merrill, elected in 2010 and reelected in 2014, is serving her second term as Connecticut’s Secretary of the State. Denise has focused her time in office on protecting and expanding the right of Connecticut citizens to participate in free and fair elections, on making registering and voting easier and move convenient, and on streamlining and modernizing Connecticut’s business services offerings.
Denise has taken the lead in making it easier for Connecticut’s voters to register, successfully fighting for Election Day Registration, online voter registration, and, most recently, automatic voter registration trough the Department of Motor Vehicles and the federal “Motor Voter” law. She continues to be in the forefront of the fight to make casting a ballot more convenient by advocating the implementation of early voting in Connecticut.
Denise has been a champion of protecting the privacy of Connecticut’s voters by standing up to the Trump administration’s Pence-Kobach Commission’s heavy-handed attempt to use voter registration information to fraudulently disenfranchise voters nationwide.
As the most recent past-President of the National Association of Secretaries of State, and current chair of the Cyber Security Committee, Denise has made protecting the integrity of Connecticut’s, and the United States’, elections from foreign cyber interference her highest priority.
Prior to her service as Connecticut’s Secretary of the State, Denise was the State Representative from Mansfield from 1995 to 2011, culminating in serving as Majority Leader in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 2009 to 2011. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, a lawyer licensed to practice in California, and a classically trained pianist, Denise has three children and five grandchildren and lives in Hartford with her husband Stephen.