© 2022 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bridgeport Group Works To End Voting Corruption In City

BRIDGEPORT.jpg
Bridgeport City Website
/

A group that sued the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, over alleged absentee ballot abuse in 2019 has launched a campaign to “Unrig Bridgeport.”

It’s part of a campaign by Bridgeport Generation Now Votes, led by Gemeem Davis. She said they seek to end systemic corruption and restore democracy in Bridgeport.

“It’s like an open secret that democracy has been hijacked, that we have a problem with absentee ballot abuse and fraud. We know that under the leadership of our Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa, that he is hoarding power for the very few to ensure that white men keep power,” Davis said.

Davis said the main goal this year is to get a state election monitor appointed to oversee voting in Bridgeport.

Her group sued the city over alleged absentee ballot abuse during the 2019 Democratic primary. That’s after candidate Marilyn Moore won at the polls, but incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim beat her with about 300 absentee votes. The lawsuit alleged people were soliciting absentee ballot applications at the city’s senior living facilities.

A Superior Court judge decided not to overturn those election results, but said state lawmakers should address the issue.

Davis had worked on Moore’s campaign.

Reverend Stanley Lord is president of the Greater Bridgeport NAACP. He said the “Unrig Bridgeport” campaign is important for democracy.

“We’ve allowed too much cheating within the system. No more taking advantage of our seniors and those with disabilities. No more corruption in Bridgeport,” Lord said.

City officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.