Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim's primary opponent wants election monitor installed amid controversy
Concerns about absentee ballot manipulation have been raised by Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim's opponent in Tuesday’s Democratic Party primary.
Challenger John Gomes wants the Secretary of the State to appoint an election monitor.
“It is nothing short of voter suppression,” Gomes said at a news conference at his campaign headquarters on Thursday.
He alleges that the manipulation of mail-in ballots might be occurring with more than 4,000 absentee ballots already requested.
His campaign manager Christine Bartlett-Josie gave a specific example.
“Anna Morales of 430 Grand Street, Apartment 406, stated that a woman came to her door, with the opposition shirt on and asked her for a ballot,” she said.
“She told her that she would fill it out for her. Anna then said it's my ballot and will complete it for myself,” Bartlett-Josie said.
Bridgeport Generation Now Votes sued the Ganim campaign over absentee ballot manipulation four years ago.
“What the judge said at the time was that the state of Connecticut needed to make sure that they change the laws around absentee voting because there’s clearly malfeasance happening,” said Gemeem Davis, vice president and co-director of the organization.
The organization helped get state lawmakers to include funds for election monitoring in the state budget, but no monitor has been appointed yet.
“You can see applications out but not ballots,” Ganim said, defending the high number of absentee ballot requests.
“So, I’m not sure you are going to see 4,000 or 3,000 or even 2,000 come back. So at the end of the day I don’t think it’s going to be much higher than in prior years,” he added.
In the 2019 Democratic Party primary, Ganim won after he received 967 mail-in votes, enough to erase his opponent’s victory from the machine vote count.