Speaker Profile

Denise Merrill

Denise Merrill
Connecticut Secretary of the State
Office of the Connecticut Secretary of the State

Denise W. Merrill is currently serving her second term as Connecticut's 73rd Secretary of the State. As Connecticut's chief elections official and business registrar, Merrill has focused on modernizing Connecticut's elections and business services, and improving access to public records. Secretary Merrill has supported and expanded democratic participation, ensuring that every citizen's rights and privileges are protected and that every vote is counted accurately. She has worked to expand voter participation through Election Da, online, and automatic voter registration (through the DMV). She has also improved Connecticut's democratic accountability and integrity with a series of rapid response processes to Election Day problems. She served as president of the National Association of Secretaries of State for the 2016-17 term and serves on the Board of Advisors to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Secretary Merrill is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, is licensed to practice law in the state of California, and is a classically trained pianist. She lives in Hartford. Her family includes husband Dr. Stephen Leach and his two sons, her three grown children, and five grandchildren.