The State Elections Enforcement Commission has dismissed a complaint that alleges absentee ballot applications mailed to Easton Democrats and unaffiliated voters prior to the November 2021 election violated state election laws.

Anne Manusky, the former treasurer of Citizens for Responsible Government, filed a complaint with the state Commission alleging that 606 absentee ballot applications the Easton Democratic Town Committee mailed to voters through the Fairfield-based 475 Consulting Group leading up to the November election were improperly filled out.

In its findings and conclusions, the Commissions noted the confusion that resulted from the “unprecedented expansion of absentee ballot access,” but found no evidence of malicious intent.  After investigating, the Commission ruled on Sept. 21 that the Easton Democrats did not violate election laws and “declines to take any further action concerning” Manusky’s complaint.

Manusky, who now heads the Connecticut Republican Assembly, alleged that 475 Consulting Group did not properly serialize the absentee ballot applications with numbers provided by then Town Clerk Christine Halloran. Halloran mailed the ballots to Democrats and unaffiliated voters on behalf of Democratic candidates and First Selectman David Bindelglass’s campaign. Manusky’s complaint also alleged that the firm neglected to identify itself in the “assistor” section of the forms.

Andrew Gausepohl, the founding partner of 475 Consulting Group, characterized Manusky’s  complaint as “the Big Lie arriving in Easton and a continuation of the Republican’s attempts to spread misinformation and inject toxic national issues into local town politics.”

Bindelglass won a second term as first selectman in November, beating Republican challenger Jeffrey Parker. Manusky’s complaint also documented Parker’s bulk request for absentee ballot applications. According to Easton Republican Town Committee Chairman Wendy Bowditch, however, Parker’s campaign canvassers signed out absentee ballot applications to hand out only if people requested them.

Manusky’s complaint was one of 19 complaints investigated and dismissed in the report by the Commission concerning the absentee ballot application process in 14 different Connecticut towns that occurred during a statewide health emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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