State Election Officials To Probe Bridgeport Mayor's Primary

Matt Dwyer
September 20, 2019 - 4:47 pm

(WTIC-AM) -- The state Elections Enforcement Commission is launching an investigation into the Bridgeport Democratic mayoral primary. 

The secretary of the state asked the State Office of Elections Enforcement to look into the matter. 

A commission meeting is planned for Monday afternoon.

Lawyers for the commission are expected to ask that an investigation be commenced, and they could seek to subpoena information. 

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim won the close primary, thanks to a large number of absentee ballots that were overwhelmingly in his favor. 

But the Connecticut Post found some absentee ballot voters who said they were pressured by pro-Ganim helpers, plus a handful of absentee voters were not listed in the state voter registry, or were not Democrats. 

Challenger Sen. Marilyn Moore has accused the Democratic Town Commitee -- which backed her opponent -- of abusing the absentee voting process to maipulate the outcomes of elections.

"I think the SEEC should crack down on all of the incidents, or look into what happened in this primary, they should put into place protections so this does not happen in November," said Moore Campaign Manager Gemeem Davis. 

"Voting rights were clearly violated, based on the reporting that was in the Connecticut Post article, and the feds need to look into it," Davis said.

"Your assistance in reviewing and investigating these matters is of vital importance to ensure the public confidence in the integrity of the electoral process. I urge you to review these allegations in an expedited manner," Secretary of the State Denise Merrill wrote, in a letter notifiying the State Elections Enforcement Commission of the newspaper article.

"The allegations contained in the Connecticut Post story are serious enough to warrant a comprehensive investigation by the State Elections Enforcement Committee. Although my office does not have authority to investigate allegations, we stand ready to assist SEEC in any way we can. I intend to use the full authority granted to my office to ensure that free and fair elections are held in Bridgeport, and across Connecticut, on November 5th," Merrill said in a prepared statement.