Judge orders New mayoral primary after surveillance Videos show possible ballot stuffing

A state judge has taken the unusual step of ordering a new Democratic mayoral primary in Connecticut’s largest city to be held after the Nov. 7 general election is completed. The decision comes after surveillance videos showed a woman stuffing what appeared to be absentee ballots into an outdoor ballot box days before the original primary.

 

Superior Court Judge William Clark determined the allegations of possible malfeasance warrant 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 his 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.”

News of the Bridgeport videos has spread through right-wing social media platforms and on far-right media, connecting the controversy to the 2020 stolen election claims.

The new primary date has not been set yet.

Ganim’s opponent, John Gomes, whose campaign obtained the surveillance video and released it publicly after the primary, sued city officials and demanded a new primary, or for him to be declared the winner.

Ganim, who was convicted of corruption during a first stint as mayor but won his old job back in an election after his release from prison, has repeatedly denied any knowledge of wrongdoing related to ballots and has raised concerns about other videos which he says show Gomes’ campaign workers dropping in multiple pieces of paper resembling ballots. Gomes has said his staff did nothing wrong.

Under Connecticut law, voters using a collection box must drop off their completed ballots themselves, or designate certain family members, police, local election officials or a caregiver to do it for them.

The Gomes and Ganim campaigns did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment Wednesday afternoon.

[The Associated Press]

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