March 18, 2020

Letter of Agreement

March 18, 2020

The Hon. Denise Merrill

Secretary of the State

30 Trinity Street

Hartford CT 06106

Re: Letter of Agreement

Dear Secretary Merrill:

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, political parties are unable to gather in the normal course to

carry out the process of nominating candidates for office. There are three barriers to meeting in

person. First, the state currently prohibits public gatherings of 50 or more people for civic and

community purposes. Second, many locations commonly used by town committees are not

available to the public due to the pandemic. Third, the Center for Disease Control and

Preventions urges meetings with 10 or more attendees be canceled or held virtually.

At the same time, political parties rely on meetings to conduct their business. These meetings,

which may include a convention, a caucus or a town committee meeting, require individuals to

be present in order to vote or otherwise participate. While both parties believe that a virtual

presence, either telephonic, video or other technological means, would satisfy their respective

rules, we want to ensure that the public and election regulators recognize that the steps we

jointly have agreed to follow are fair and appropriate with regard to party nominations. This is

especially important for candidates who opt to participate in the state’s Citizens Election


Accordingly, the Connecticut Democratic Party and Connecticut Republican Party shall agree

that effective March 9, 2020 through Election Day (November 3, 2020) political parties may

carry out their responsibilities through telephonic, video or other technological means that

provide for a virtual presence for their participants. The parties agree that they shall put in

place measures to ensure that individuals who participate in the party process are identifiable

and adhere to the spirit of the party rules.

Finally, pursuant to their respective State Party Rules, certain town committees hold a caucus

to select delegates for conventions. It is the intent of both parties to amend their respective

rules to authorize the party chair under exigent circumstances to require those town committees

to replace the caucus to select delegates with a town committee meeting to do so. In order to

be timely, this change of rules will require an executive order by the Governor. In the event

that such an order is not issued in time, both parties will direct any town committee that holds a

caucus to select delegates to do so, instead, through a town committee meeting. The reason for

this order is that it is not feasible to properly conduct a caucus either telephonic, video or other

technological means.

We hereby file this Letter of Agreement with your office.

The full letter of agreement between CT Dems and GOP re: virtual meetings

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