In a closely watched Democratic primary race for mayor in Bridgeport, Connecticut, incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim declared victory by a slim margin, but his challenger, former municipal employee John Gomes, raised concerns about the validity of the results. Now, Gomes is taking matters to the courts, filing a lawsuit seeking to halt the certification of the election.
Gomes’ decision comes on the heels of the release of new evidence that may suggest possible election fraud. During a press conference at his campaign headquarters on Monday, Gomes presented city surveillance footage allegedly showing a Ganim supporter, Wanda Geter-Pataky, removing blank ballots from City Hall and later feeding them into an early voting ballot box in the middle of the night.
The video raises concerns, not only because it is against Connecticut election laws for anyone other than a voter, family member, police officer, local election official, or caretaker to drop off ballots, but also because Geter-Pataky has a history of election fraud. In the 2019 mayoral election, Geter-Pataky was one of three people investigated by the State Elections Enforcement Commission for possible election fraud. The commission recommended pursuing charges to the State’s Attorney’s Office.
While the video has not yet been officially confirmed to be Geter-Pataky, the woman in the video bears a striking resemblance to known photos of her. When questioned about the video, Ganim seemed more concerned about how Gomes obtained it, rather than the potential implications of its contents.
Gomes’ claims have enough merit to warrant a closer look. In addition to the newly released video evidence, Gomes also pointed out that a large number of mail-in ballots were cast in this election, raising concerns about the potential for fraud. The police have opened an investigation into the matter.
However, Ganim continues to downplay the situation, stating that the video does not show Geter-Pataky engaging in any illegal activity. He also accused Gomes of trying to distract from the true issue at hand, which is how he obtained the video.
Meanwhile, Gomes maintains that this is bigger than his campaign and that a “black cloud” is hanging over Bridgeport. He argues that the integrity of the election needs to be looked into, and that a re-vote may be necessary to ensure a fair and honest outcome.
The current situation in Bridgeport highlights the ongoing debate over whether mail-in voting is a secure method for casting ballots. While the Democrats continue to criticize Republicans for their concerns about election integrity, this Democratic primary race serves as a reminder that election fraud can happen on either side of the aisle.
As the courts make their decision on whether or not to halt the certification of the Bridgeport election, one thing is certain: further investigation into the matter is necessary to ensure a fair outcome for all parties involved. Until then, the future of the mayoral seat in Bridgeport remains uncertain.