After ‘shocking’ videos, judge orders new primary election in Bridgeport, Connecticut

by WorldTribune Staff, November 2, 2023

A Connecticut judge has ordered a new Democrat primary election after a ballot-stuffing scandal in the Bridgeport mayoral contest.

Superior Court Judge William Clark’s decision was made after surveillance video showed a woman stuffing what appeared to be absentee ballots into an outdoor ballot box days before the original primary.

Video showed 400 people using Bridgeport ballot drop boxes. Over 1,200 ballots were reportedly found in the boxes. / Video Image

Clark determined the ballot-stuffing allegations warranted throwing out the results of the Sept. 12 primary, which incumbent Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim won by 251 votes out of 8,173 cast. Absentee ballots secured the margin of victory.

“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,” Clark wrote in his ruling, adding that the videos “are shocking to the court and should be shocking to all the parties.”

The new primary date has not been set.

Ganim’s opponent, John Gomes, sued city officials and demanded a new primary, or for him to be declared the winner. Gomes’s campaign obtained the surveillance video and released it publicly. Gomes’s legal team said the video shows 420 people using the drop boxes and more than 1,200 ballots were submitted.

During his first sting as mayor, Ganim was convicted of corruption. He won the job back after his release from prison.

Meanwhile, Multiple New Jersey Democrats have been charged with election fraud crimes involving mail-in ballots, according to reports on Wednesday.

Paterson City Council President Alex Mendez was indicted for alleged crimes committed during the 2020 election. He allegedly supervised an operation that stole mail-in ballots from mailboxes and replaced the ones that were not for him. His wife and two others were also charged.

New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin said Mendez was seen emptying a “large, heavy bag, completely filled with ballots” into a mailbox.

“The defendants are accused of attempting to rig an election in their favor and to deprive the voters of Paterson of having their voices heard,” Platkin said. “The functioning of democracy relies on voters’ trust that their votes count and those votes determine the outcomes of elections.”

Before the May 2020 election, in which Mendez was running for city council, he allegedly collected stacks of mail-in ballots from households over several days in violation of state law, according to the attorney general’s office. While New Jersey law allows a “bearer” to return a completed ballot for a voter, candidates in elections are not allowed to collect and return ballots for the voters in the district of the race they are running in.

According to Platkin’s office, Mendez’s campaign allegedly collected ballots that were not sealed by voters and examined them at the campaign headquarters to see if they were cast for Mendez. Ballots that were not cast for Mendez were allegedly destroyed and replaced with a ballot for him. The replacement ballots were allegedly stolen from voters’ mailboxes.

One of Mendez’s associates allegedly took ballots from mailboxes in areas that were known to have many supporters of Mendez’s opponent, the attorney general’s office said. Also, if voters turned over ballots that were incomplete, Mendez’s campaign workers would allegedly complete them.

Revolver News noted: “We’ve seen this scenario unfold in various forms over the years, especially since ‘mail-in ballots’ have been utilized to their advantage by the regime. It’s quite a clever operation they’ve got going. Amid the chaos of a deluge of ballots, it becomes nearly impossible to keep track of everything. Consequently, many things slip through the cracks, and that appears to be by design.”

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