State Election Enforcement officials are investigating a complaint that alleges Peter Schiff used out-of-state workers to help him gather at least some of the 8,268 signatures he needs to get on the Aug. 10 primary ballot to challenge Linda McMahon.
Under state law only Connecticut residents registered with the Republican Party are allowed to help gather signatures.
But James Bancroft of Windsor Locks, who filed this complaint Friday, says he was approached outside the Best Buy store in Newington by Schiff petitioners who told him they were from Montana.
Bancroft says the woman in the photo told him she was from Montana and was employed by “National Ballot Association” and was being paid by the Schiff campaign for her services.
Last week Schiff’s campaign told CTNewsJunkie that the Lincoln Strategy Group, which has offices in Arizona and New Mexico, was hired to mobilize Connecticut Republicans to gather the signatures.
“Our volunteers and the firm are following all rules and regulations applicable for petition signature gathering set forth by the Connecticut Secretary of State,” Jen Millikin, spokeswoman with the Schiff campaign, said. “The Lincoln Strategy Group has assured us that they are working to uphold all rules and regulations regarding the gathering of petitions. Once it came to their attention that certain petition gatherers were not in compliance those people were removed from the project to ensure 100 percent compliance.”
By Friday, Schiff campaign officials said they were more than halfway to the 8,268 signature mark. Those signatures need to be handed in to the local registrars of voters by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8. The verification and tally of the signatures will take about a week.
Bancroft said the woman outside the store told him that she made $2.25 for every signature collected, while another man witnessing the signature collection made $100 a day. According to Bancroft the two told him the transactions were in cash and therefore there was no need to report the income to the state.
Bancroft submitted three photos of the petitioners with his complaint.
State Elections Enforcement officials have put the complaint on their docket and have assigned an investigator.