Five years later, four ballot-stuffing officials caught on camera are arrested

Arrests five years in the making didn’t instill confidence in a speedy prosecution after a Connecticut city employee was filmed allegedly stuffing ballot boxes.

(Video Credit: Fox 61)

Last fall, a judge in the Constitution State overturned the results of the Bridgeport Democratic mayoral primary after “unprecedented” volumes of evidence, including surveillance footage, revealed partisan operatives had ballot harvested for a convicted felon, incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim (D).

Now a separate investigation stretching back to 2019 has resulted in city employee and vice-chair of the Democratic Town Committee Wanda Geter-Pataky, implicated in the ballot-stuffing video, getting slapped with four Class-D felony charges as she and three others were arrested for alleged ballot fraud.

“It’s not acceptable to me that it takes this long for justice to be served, and it makes you question how long it’s going to take to investigate and ultimately prosecute what occurred blatantly on camera last summer,” said Connecticut state Sen. Stephen Harding (R) to Fox 61.

In addition to Geter-Pataky, the arrests included city council member Alfredo Castillo alongside campaign workers Josephine Edmunds and Nilsa Heredia.

Images via the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney

As with the “shocking” video evidence previously reported that led Superior Court Judge William Clark to declare a redo of the Sept. 2023 Democratic primary, the arrest affidavit for Geter-Pataky cited a review surveillance video along with absentee ballots and witness interviews in prompting the charges brought.

One of those interviews detailed in the affidavit had a voter who had not requested an absentee ballot explain, “Wanda came to my house” and “told me only to sign the bottom of the blank application…”

That voter further detailed, “I have done this with Wanda over the past 10 years.”

“I told her I thought I should vote in person. Wanda said no…” the voter testified.

Reacting to news of the arrests, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D), who had endorsed Ganim in his primary race, assured the press, “We’re going to hold people accountable.”

Ganim served as the mayor of Bridgeport from 1991-2003 when he was convicted of 16 federal counts that included racketeering, bribery, mail fraud, and extortion. In 2015, after serving seven years in prison, he successfully ran for mayor once more.

Questioned over that endorsement in light of the Geter-Pataky’s alleged ballot-stuffing alongside city council candidate Eneida Martinez, the governor, who signed a law Tuesday to require the State Elections Enforcement Committee to complete investigations within 90 days and mandated cameras at absentee ballot drop boxes, said, “I don’t think — look. He’s not being charged.”

Couched denials of concerns over election integrity with the caveat of no “widespread” voter fraud were among the takes slammed on social media as users remained incredulous that it took five years to bring arrests even with video evidence.

Kevin Haggerty

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