BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — The ballot battle commences in a Bridgeport court on Wednesday, all focused on the disputed democratic mayoral primary last month. Both sides were sent home from their court appearances on Tuesday after a surprise request by the judge.
Court was only in session for about 45 minutes on Tuesday, then the judge sent everyone home while the two sides waited for some paperwork.
This action is based on a state statute that says any elector can complain to a judge when he or she sees a mistake in the election process. That prompted a debate on the definitions of two words, “elector” and “mistake.”
The lawyer for the city argued that “elector” means only someone who actually voted in the election. The plaintiffs bringing this action have a list of 39 witnesses they want to call, and the city said only ones who actually voted should be allowed to testify.
The plaintiff’s lawyer argued that “elector” is defined by the state as anyone eligible to vote in the election. Then the city lawyer pointed out that two of the 39 witnesses were registered Republicans who were not eligible to vote in a democratic mayoral primary.
That was a surprise to the plaintiffs, and the judge ended court for the day so they could go find the voter registration paperwork for everybody on the witness list.
The other word, “mistake” could prompt more discussion for the next court appearance on Wednesday. The city argued that “mistake” refers to errors counting the votes. The plaintiffs argue that it can refer to anything that subverts the will of the voters, not just arithmetic mistakes.
That is really the crux of the case, as they try to prove supporters of Mayor Joe Ganim pressured people into voting absentee for Ganim, winning him the election, even though State Senator Marilyn Moore won at the polls.
We will see later Wednesday morning who ends up being allowed to testify. Time is certainly a factor as the general election is now 34 days away.
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