BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — With six weeks until the General Election, the case of alleged ballot tampering in the Bridgeport mayoral race is expected to begin again on Oct. 12.
Lawyers and Judge William Clark had a closed-door meeting on Monday about scheduling. The judge said the case will happen on consecutive days, and will continue until there’s a conclusion.
The case started on Sept. 25, but Clark put a pause on proceedings so all parties could receive and review the evidence related to allegations that absentee ballots were tampered with ahead of the primary election.
In the primary, Democratic mayoral candidate John Gomes lost by 251 votes to Mayor Joe Ganim. Gomes’ campaign released a video, claiming that a city employee stuffed the ballot box with absentee ballots.
Gomes filed a lawsuit urging a judge to order a new Democratic primary, or to declare him the winner. The suit was amended last week with the allegation that voters were given benefits in exchange for their votes.
Gomes’ lawyer, William Boss, said his office has received the 2,000 hours of police surveillance footage, and almost all of the 10,000 city hall documents related to this case. Investigative documents from Bridgeport police were the only files not released. Clark ruled that the documents can be disclosed once the hearing starts, if a lawyer requests to use them.
Bloss believes most of the evidence will be presented by the General Election on Nov. 7.
“I’ve done a lot of election cases, and I don’t think I’ve ever handled an election case of this volume of documents or this volume of video,” he said. “So, it’s happening in very short timeframe, but we know what to look for and all of the lawyers are experienced in handling these, so I’m very optimistic we could come to a fair result in quite short order.”
Gomes will still be on the ballot on Nov. 7. The election will happen no matter what, but the judge can order a new primary and then another General Election would follow.