Four Campaign Officials Arrested In Bridgeport Absentee Ballot Case

Daily Report June 16,2024

Prosecutors have charged four Democratic campaign officials in Bridgeport, Connecticut, with ballot fraud related to the 2019 mayoral primary race between Mayor Joe Ganim (D) and State Sen. Marilyn Moore (D).

The campaign officials arrested include Wanda Geter-Pataky, city hall employee and vice chairwoman of the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee and City Councilor Alfredo Castillo.

Prosecutors also charged Nilsa Heredai and Josephine Edwards, two other campaign workers. All four defendants are accused of failing to sign absentee ballot applications, misrepresenting eligibility requirements and tampering with witnesses.

According to a press release from the Connecticut Division of Crime and Justice, Geter-Pataky committed election fraud by filling out an absentee ballot application on behalf of a voter without signing as the assister and misrepresenting the eligibility requirements for absentee voting.

Geter-Pataky allegedly told the voters not to vote in person and offered to pick up their absentee ballot instead and instructed them to keep the matter secret.

The four defendants have been released and are scheduled to appear in court on June 24.

Chief State’s Attorney Patrick Griffin released a statement on the election fraud case, emphasizing the importance of protecting the electoral process.

“Integrity of our voting process is vital to our democracy,” Griffin said. “I appreciate the attention and time the Statewide Prosecution Bureau put into these investigations. I hope these prosecutions will send a message that deters tampering with election results in the future in Connecticut.”

During the investigation into the election fraud, new allegations surfaced against Geter-Pataky after a video showed the vice chairwoman tampering with a ballot drop box during the 2023 reelection campaign of Mayor Ganim. The incident is still under separate investigation.

Despite a state Superior Court judge overturning the election results due to the video evidence, Ganim still won the race. The mayor, however, has claimed no knowledge of the fraud.

“We only learned through the media that individuals from both 2019 mayoral primary campaigns have been charged with election violations,” Ganim said. “We have not been provided with any details other than what is contained in media reports.”

Meanwhile, Moore alleges that fraud was common in Ganim’s campaign.


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