‘Unlawful possession of absentee ballots’: 4 Democrats charged in Connecticut

Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, June 17, 2024 Contract With Our Readers

Four Democrats in Bridgeport, Connecticut are facing election fraud charges after they allegedly manipulated the absentee ballot system in the 2019 Democrat primary for mayor.

Charged for unlawful possession of absentee ballots are Bridgeport City Council member Alfredo Castillo, Town Committee Vice Chair Wanda Geter-Pataky, and two campaign workers, Nilsa Heredia and Josephine Edmunds, the Associated Press reported.

Surveillance video showed individuals stuffing absentee ballots into collection boxes during the Democrat primary, one of which was allegedly Geter-Pataky.

Geter-Pataky, Heredia, and Edmonds were also charged with tampering with a witness during the investigation, Fox News reported.

Geter-Pataky was also accused of failing to sign as an “assister” on an absentee ballot application, which was filled out on behalf of a voter.

Castillo was accused of misrepresenting eligibility requirements for voting by absentee ballots and failing to sign as an assister.

In Bridgeport’s 2019 Democrat primary, Joe Ganim, the incumbent mayor, defeated state Sen. Marilyn Moore by only 270 votes.

Geter-Pataky, Castillo, and Heredia were Ganim supporters, while Edmonds is believed to have supported Moore.

“Whether it’s people accused from the Moore campaign or my campaign — any irregularity is unacceptable,” Ganim said in a statement after the arrests were announced. “We all agree that the integrity of the voting process is vital to our democracy.”

Edmonds had been on Moore’s campaign payroll in 2019.

Moore said she was disappointed that someone on her campaign payroll had been accused of voter fraud: “I ran on integrity and I also ran on integrity for my Senate campaign. That’s what I tried to foster, integrity in all campaigns. That I had a person doing the opposite bothers me, especially knowing who I am and knowing that I don’t cut corners on anything.”

There was no explanation of why it took so long to bring the charges, especially considering the secretary of state’s office had reportedly sent a formal letter of referral regarding possible wrongdoing to the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) after the September 2019 primary.

The evidence was not referred to state prosecutors until June 7, 2023.

Voters filed a lawsuit seeking a new primary election in 2019,

Edmonds turned herself into authorities on June 10, while the remaining three defendants turned themselves in the following day.

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