On Thursday, a judge began examining evidence as part of the legal proceedings to reverse the results of the Bridgeport Mayoral Primary.
This investigation was prompted by a scandal that has impacted Connecticut’s largest city. Surveillance footage captured a woman inserting several pieces of paper into an absentee ballot drop box one week before the primary election.
The Gomes campaign released a video last month showing alleged election fraud in the Bridgeport Democratic primary.
In response, the Bridgeport Police Department launched an inquiry into possible misconduct.
The video released by Gomes’ campaign showed Wanda Geter-Pataky, Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic Town Clerk and supporter of incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim, dropping off stacks of absentee ballots ahead of September 12th primary.
“Video surveillance proving that the mayoral election was unequivocally stolen through corruption within City Hall by tampering with absentee ballots,” John Gomes said on his Facebook page.
“This is an undeniable act of voter suppression and a huge civil rights violation. It’s time to restore lasting credibility to our city’s democracy. Once and for ALL. Enough is enough!” he added.
Gomes narrowly lost to incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim in the Democratic primary, with a margin of 251 votes according to the preliminary count posted on the Secretary of State’s website. Ganim won the absentee vote tally 1,545 to 779, while Gomes led in voting machines.
The Bridgeport Police Department is conducting an investigation into the events depicted in a video.
“The Bridgeport Police Department are actively investigating information regarding possible misconduct based upon a video that has surfaced on social media,” the department told CT Mirror.
The police department is investigating how the video was obtained and released to the public.
“The Bridgeport Police Department immediately initiated an investigation to determine if any criminal wrongdoing has occurred. In addition, an internal investigation is being conducted to determine if any possible breach to our security video management system has occurred,” it added.
Roderick Porter, Police Chief of Bridgeport, stated that the department takes any violations regarding security seriously and will thoroughly assess potential criminal prosecution or administrative action in response.
This came after Patricia Howard, Bridgeport’s Democratic Registrar of Voters, admitted to not following Connecticut law for handling mail-in ballots during a court hearing on Thursday.
According to the state statute, it is mandated that town clerks must sign off on each absentee ballot for them to be counted. During the proceedings, Attorney John Gomes questioned Howard about her understanding of the regulations.
Lawyer: “Were you aware that the Secretary of State says that an outer envelope, the endorsement of the town clerk, must show the date, the precise time the clerk received the ballot, and the clerk’s signature?
Clerk: Honestly, no.
Lawyer: And were you aware that if the Secretary of Estate says in Exhibit 126, if an outer envelope does not substantially comply with this requirement, the ballot cannot be counted?
Clerk: That’s what it says
Lawyer: Did you know that?
Clerk: Now I do.
Lawyer: Okay, I guess maybe I should ask, did you know that? Did you know that on September 12th?
Clerk: No, I didn’t.
Lawyer: And did you ever instruct your absentee ballot moderator that that was the rule?
Clerk: We go over the manual.
Lawyer: You went over this manual with the absentee ballot moderator?
Clerk: Actually, this is new to me about the signature. I’m not clear, so that means I haven’t read the book thoroughly and properly, like I should have in this instance.
BREAKING: Democrat Election Clerk gives BOMBSHELL testimony in court admitting she has not been following the law on mail-in ballots
Connecticut law requires clerks to sign off on each absentee ballot, a ballot cannot be counted if those requirements are not met
This means that… pic.twitter.com/01pkBn44Bs
— George (@BehizyTweets) October 12, 2023
More from FOX 61:
We learned Thursday that not only is there no signature verification, but the city also doesn’t check if people are U.S. citizens or have a way of differentiating between the number of absentee ballots sent back to the through the mail versus put into one of the city’s four drop boxes.
“The number of people and absentee ballots that came in without stamps and postmarks substantially exceeds the number we see on the videos dropping absentee ballots into the drop box,” said Bloss.
“You can suggest a lot of things but the law is the law and Bill can’t just make open needed allegations and think those take the place of evidence,” rebutted Attorney Kennelly.
Wanda Geter-Pataky, the Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic Town Clerk, is expected to testify on Friday regarding her involvement in a video depicting the stuffing of multiple illegal ballots.