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    Democratic leaders arrested on charges of election fraud in Connecticut

    By Elaine Mallon,

    2024-06-11

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1wWJDi_0to1enbJ00

    Two Democratic city officials and two Democratic campaign workers from Bridgeport, Connecticut , have been arrested and charged with election fraud .

    Wanda Geter-Pataky, deputy head of the city’s Democratic Town Committee, city Councilman Alfredo Castillo, Nilsa Heredia, a campaigner for Mayer Joe Ganim, and Josephine Edmonds, a supporter for state Sen. Marilyn Moore, have been charged due to their misuse of absentee ballots during the 2019 mayoral primary race.

    In 2019, Ganim won his primary bid against Moore by 270 absentee votes. Moore prompted a trial challenging the election results. The five-week trial included testimony from voters who said Ganim campaign workers picked up their completed absentee ballots, which is a violation of state law. Through their testimonies, it was revealed that ballot applications were improperly distributed and mailed out with address corrections.

    Superior Court Judge Barry Stevens ruled there was not enough evidence to overturn the election results despite clear evidence that some level of fraud had occurred with the handling of absentee ballots. Five days after the trial, Ganim won his reelection bid for mayor in the general election.

    Following these allegations, the office of the secretary of state sent a letter of referral to the State Elections Enforcement Commission, which then opened up a civil investigation. The SEEC voted that there was evidence of criminal conduct and referred the case to the Division of Criminal Justice on  June 7, 2023. The Statewide Prosecution Bureau within the office of the chief state’s attorney moved forward with the referral.

    Geter-Pataky is accused of failing to sign as an assister on an absentee ballot application that she had filled out on behalf of a prospective voter and misrepresenting eligibility requirements for voting by absentee ballot when she reportedly told a citizen not to vote in person and that she would pick up the citizen’s absentee ballot.

    Heredia is also accused of misrepresenting eligibility requirements for voting by absentee ballot. She had instructed voters on which candidate to select on their absentee ballots, and had admitted to not submitting an absentee ballot distribution list to the city of Bridgeport clerk’s office.

    Castillo is accused of failing to maintain an absentee ballot distribution list, misrepresenting eligibility requirements for voting by absentee ballot, and failing to sign as an assister on an absentee ballot application in August 2019.

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    Edmonds is accused of being present when four voters filled out their absentee ballots and took possession of them when she left their home. She is also accused of failing to maintain an absentee ballot distribution list and tampering.

    All four defendants have been released from custody with the expectation of returning to court on June 24.

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