Connecticut mayoral election do-over set for this month amid election fraud investigations

Bridgeport’s mayoral elections, which began in the fall of last year, are set to end at the end this month amid numerous complaints and investigations regarding election fraud. The largest city in Connecticut is facing allegations of election fraud as it prepares to hold its mayoral elections that were originally scheduled for last year.

In November, a judge ordered a “Do-Over” of the mayoral election after a video appeared online showing a supporter for incumbent Democrat Mayor Joe Gagni stuffing stacks into an absentee vote drop box during September’s Democratic primary election.

In Connecticut, it is illegal to harvest absentee votes. Only a designated family or friend, police officer, official of the election, or caregiver may drop off an absentee voter’s ballot.

The court order was issued in response to a challenge brought by John Gomes, Ganim’s Democratic rival, over an alleged abuse of absentee ballots. Ganim acknowledged that his campaign workers had violated the election laws, but denied knowing about it at the time.


Ganim won the majority of absentee votes, which totalled 2,630. According to the lawsuit Ganim received 694 votes more in absentee voting than Gomes. Ganim won the primary by 251 votes, out of 8,173 ballots cast.

The judge has set a redo primaries for January 23 and a redo general elections for February 27.

Stephanie Thomas, Secretary of State for Connecticut Democrats, urged voters to vote in person before the primary.

She stated that “election monitors cannot do everything, and we encourage everyone who can to vote in person on the 23rd of January.” The Town Clerk will allow someone who voted absentee but is not sure if it was the right thing to do, to withdraw their ballot in person before 10 am on Election Day. They can then vote at the polling station they were assigned.

Ganim won by 1 077 votes.

Gomes, a Republican, is also running as an Independent in the general elections. Lamond Daniels, an Independent candidate, dropped out of general election in late November.

Bridgeport has 4,719 Republicans, 42 371 Democrats, 22, 555 unaffiliated and other third-party voters.

Even though the results were insignificant, the city held its general elections in November. Ganim got 5,729 votes; Gomes received 5,550 votes; Daniels had 1,836 votes and Herz came in with 765.

Thomas, who was the secretary of the redo primaries in January, sent a complaint a week before the primary to the State Elections Enforcement Commission about an allegedly illegal absentee application circulator. A secretary’s assistant was alerted by an election monitor to a photo showing a person who seemed to be distributing absentee ballot applications without being registered as circulator.

CT Examiner reported that Ganim brought the photo to the secretary’s attention after Gomes campaign posted it on Facebook. The Gomes campaign worker claimed that she misunderstood the instructions of the town clerk regarding absentee ballot applications.

The Gomes campaign has denied all wrongdoing.

The SEEC opened four new investigations last week after receiving complaints from election monitors. The SEEC received four complaints last week, one of which was about a deceased person casting an absentee vote. The rest concerned ballot harvesting. Local TV News Station 12 Connecticut reported the new investigations include “whether a ballot was voted for a deceased woman days after her death.”

SEEC also opened investigations against two members of Bridgeport City Council.

A complaint was investigated in which it was claimed that a video showed a councilmember “voting curbside”. The SEEC recommended criminal charges against the councilmember for the 2019 elections.

The other council member is alleged to have changed the party affiliation of a voter without her consent. SEEC is investigating at least eleven complaints about the redo primaries in January.

Ganim served as mayor for 12 years after being elected in 1991. He resigned when he was caught taking bribes. He was convicted for extortion, spent seven years behind bars and won back the mayorship in 2015.

Gomes was instrumental in helping Ganim win the 2015 election and worked for his administration up until July 2022, when he was dismissed.

Bridgeport’s election fraud was not the first issue to arise in recent years.

A judge ordered a “do-over” of the Bridgeport Democratic state representative primary election in 2022 after receiving complaints about mishandled absentee votes. This was followed by two recounts as well as weeks of litigation.

A judge had ordered a new Bridgeport Democratic City Council primary five years ago after the original race was decided on one absentee vote that was discovered during a recount.

Just the News reported on Wednesday that Gomes’ campaign stated, “Anyone who violates the CT General Statutes by mishandling ballots should face the penalties listed in the statutes.” SEEC has received 21 complaints in relation to the Democratic Primary of September 12. During the civil trial, the city and mayor had the opportunity to call more witnesses. The attorneys for the City declined.”

The communications director of Ganim’s Campaign sent a link on Wednesday to a CT Examiner’s article in Just the News, describing it as “a summary of an ongoing investigation against 24 members of the Gomes’ campaign for absentee voting violations as well blatant disregard of the judge’s court order.”