The primary election had attracted extensive attention due to allegations of absentee ballot irregularities in Connecticut's largest city. The controversy intensified when a video appeared online, seemingly showing a supporter of incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim inserting numerous papers into an absentee ballot drop box. (Related: The Achilles heel of mail-in ballot fraud.)
Superior Court Judge William Clark concluded that the allegations of potential misconduct were substantial enough to warrant voiding the results of the September 12 primary. Ganim had emerged as the victor in this primary, securing a lead of 251 votes out of 8,173 cast, with absentee ballots significantly contributing to his victory.
In his ruling, Clark emphasized the volume of mishandled ballots, raising serious doubts about the primary's legitimacy and making it challenging to determine the genuine outcome. He described the video evidence as "shocking to the court" and underscored its gravity.
While a new primary date has not been set, Ganim's opponent, John Gomes, who publicly released the surveillance video after the primary, filed a lawsuit against city officials. He demanded either a new primary or to be declared the winner.
Gomes was represented by lawyer Bill Bloss, who noted that the videos provided compelling evidence of substantial misconduct related to absentee ballots. Gomes viewed the ruling as "a victory for the people of Bridgeport" and highlighted the importance of upholding the integrity of the democratic process.
Ganim expressed his intent to await advice from his legal team regarding whether to appeal the decision, and he encouraged residents to participate in the upcoming election.
Despite the judge's order, it remains uncertain whether Bridgeport will need to conduct another primary. The decision depends on the outcome of the general election taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Ganim's victory could lead to a new primary, while a win by Gomes could potentially conclude the litigation.
Bloss speculated that if another primary is required, it could occur no sooner than four weeks from now, with the possibility of extending into the new year, contingent on the efficiency of election officials' preparations.
In the ruling, Clark instructed the involved parties to collaborate and discuss the scheduling of a new primary within 10 days.
The Secretary of the State's office pledged to work with the campaigns, Bridgeport election officials, and other stakeholders to establish the primary date.
Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas commended Clark's decision, emphasizing the importance of protecting election integrity. She stressed the need to inform all eligible voters about the new date to prevent disenfranchisement and called for policies such as dropbox surveillance, a Connecticut Election Court, and voter education to fortify the election system.
During a candidate conversation, Gomes and Ganim were joined by two other mayoral candidates.
Lamond Daniels, a petitioning candidate, shared his commitment to bringing his skills and dedication to the city. David Herz, a Republican candidate, aspired to bridge diverse viewpoints for positive change.
While an interim election monitor oversees how campaigns handle ballot applications, they lack access to the drop box cameras due to time constraints. Efforts are being made to explore additional hiring opportunities, as per Stephanie Thomas, the Democratic Secretary of the State.
Thomas highlighted the ongoing efforts to enhance the state's election system, including implementing drop box surveillance. Lawmakers are considering the widespread use of cameras, but questions remain about whether it should be mandatory and where to place them, such as in major cities with multiple drop boxes.
State Republicans perceive this incident as confirmation that absentee ballots can be misused and are committed to advocating for reforms to bolster voting integrity.
Watch Mike Adams and David Clements discuss the vulnerability of the 2024 election to cheating.
This video is from the Katy Odin channel on Brighteon.com.