Bridgeport mayoral primary lawsuit going forward, to hear from witnesses

Politics

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Witnesses will testify in a Bridgeport courtroom on Tuesday about alleged irregularities in the mayoral primary. Some voters say they were pressured by supporters of Mayor Joe Ganim.

On Monday, Judge Barry Stevens ruled this lawsuit does have enough merit to go forward, which means the next step involves statements from witnesses. Those same witnesses say they were pressured to vote absentee, and pressured to vote for Mayor Joe Ganim.

The general election is just five weeks away, but what we’re talking about happened in advance of the primary election 3 weeks ago. At the polls, Ganim lost by a few hundred votes, but when they counted the absentee ballots, Ganim won big, by around a three to one margin.

That certainly made supporters of his opponent, State Senator Marilyn Moore, very suspicious. They then found people, who will testify under oath, that they witnessed Ganim supporters pressure voters into taking absentee ballots, and then pressured them into voting for Ganim.

City Clerk Lydia Martinez is singled out in this suit as bringing people absentee ballots, even people who were planing to vote in person, and then telling them how to vote and even offering to fill the ballot out for them. She denies that allegation.

The city filed a motion on Monday to dismiss the whole suit, but Judge Stevens ruled it can go forward. Martinez was fined by the state for similar actions with absentee ballots in an election eight years ago as well as two years ago, a judge ordered a new election in a Bridgeport city council primary. the state supreme court ended up ruling the city had to hold a do-over election.

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