‘Shocking’ evidence of illegality could unseat Dem mayor in Connecticut – here’s how

The Democratic mayor of Bridgeport — Connecticut’s largest city — could soon be out of a job when voters head to the polls next month for a court-ordered do-over of the Democratic primary.

Joe Ganim was reelected as mayor of Bridgeport in November’s general election, but, according to a ruling from Superior Court Judge William Clark, there was enough “shocking” evidence of ballot harvesting — an illegal practice in Connecticut — to warrant a redo of September’s Democratic primary.

There are strict laws in Connecticut restricting who can return a ballot on someone’s behalf, but, as BizPac Review reported last year, surveillance video emerged of one of Ganim’s supporters stuffing stacks of paper into a ballot depository box.

“The volume of ballots so mishandled is such that it calls the result of the primary election into serious doubt and leaves the court unable to determine the legitimate result of the primary,” Judge Clark said in his ruling. The videos, he said, “are shocking to the court and should be shocking to all the parties.”

Ganim’s opponent, John Gomes, celebrated the ruling, claiming at the time on Facebook, “Today, Lady Justice fulfilled her duty. She attentively heard the voices of the people of Bridgeport, carefully considered the facts, and impartially applied the law, as justice should always be served.”

“If Ganim does not win the nomination next month,” the Washington Examiner reports, “the town will have another mayoral general election in February, with his opponent as the nominee.”

Earlier this month, Ganim, for the first time, admitted publicly that his re-election campaign engaged in electoral misconduct, according to the Connecticut Mirror.

“I own the fact that the court found people connected with my campaign, engaged in serious voting irregularities,” the mayor said, adding in a fit of “whataboutism” that Gomes, must admit “that multiple people associated with his campaign, involved in his campaign, engaged in clearly unlawful ballot behavior in the primary as well.”

Gomes has denied the accusation, telling NBC News that neither Ganim nor the city has presented any evidence in court of the alleged wrongdoing, despite subpoenaing and interviewing Gomes supporters.

“The City defendants could have compelled their testimony and they voluntarily chose not to do so,” Gomes said. “The City defendants could have introduced any relevant video and also chose not to do so during the court hearing. In fact, they withdrew their defense that the Gomes campaign committed misconduct, and did not raise it in any post-trial briefing.”

According to NBC News, “The race is one of three election redos that have taken place this year or will next year, raising eyebrows among experts and advocates who worry that election do-overs — an incredibly rare recourse — may become more common as more candidates litigate election results.”

Melissa Fine


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