BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — The controversy over absentee ballots in the Bridgeport Democratic mayoral primary continued this week with fresh accusations of misconduct after leaked video footage appeared to show at least one supporter of candidate John Gomes placing multiple envelopes into a ballot drop box.
Incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim said in a statement that these videos showed supporters of his opponent “stuffing ballot boxes.” The Gomes campaign claimed that the videos showed no wrongdoing.
In a statement released Wednesday, Gomes said, “These supporters affirm that their handling of the ballots in question was in compliance with the law.”
The videos were posted to a prominent Connecticut political blog on Tuesday and have been obtained by News 8. News 8 cannot independently verify the authenticity of these videos or the identities of those allegedly involved.
In Connecticut, it is a violation of state statute for anyone besides the voter, a family member, an election official, a police officer, or a healthcare worker providing care to the voter to return an absentee ballot.
The accusations against Gomes come less than three weeks after Gomes accused supporters of Ganim of improperly handling absentee ballots.
In September, the Gomes campaign posted leaked surveillance video which allegedly showed a supporter of the mayor placing stacks of envelopes into an absentee ballot drop box.
Bridgeport police have opened an investigation into how the Gomes campaign allegedly obtained city surveillance video, and state elections officials are probing claims of ballot impropriety.
The Gomes campaign filed a lawsuit seeking to halt the certification of the primary and potentially order a new primary. Those proceedings will resume on Oct. 12, after attorneys for both sides have had a chance to review thousands of hours of surveillance footage and more than 10,000 documents related to absentee ballots.
The release of this latest video and claims from the Ganim camp that the Gomes campaign improperly handled ballots drew comment from State Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford).
“So now we see even more video of what appears to be dubious and repeated absentee ballot box dumping involving multiple people?” he said in a statement. “What will it take for Connecticut Democrats to act and fix our broken election system?”