Group asks judge to arrest women in Bridgeport ballot videos
Citing a little-known state law, three voters are asking a judge to arrest two women at the heart of Bridgeport’s ballot box scandal.
On Thursday, the voters – backed by the conservative-leaning group “Fight Voter Fraud” – filed criminal complaints against Wanda Geter-Pataky and Eneida Martinez.
On surveillance videos, both women are allegedly shown stuffing stacks of papers into absentee ballot drop boxes. The footage led a judge to order a new Democratic primary for mayor, now set for Jan. 23.
The legal filing cites a barely-used state statute that says:
“Upon the written complaint of any three electors of a town in which a violation of any law related to elections has occurred … such judge shall issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused.”
“This is a procedure that hasn't been used in Connecticut since 1955, according to my understanding,” said Fight Voter Fraud’s attorney, Cameron Atkinson. “So we’re essentially riding on new territory.”
Geter-Pataky and Martinez both refused to answer questions on the witness stand, asserting their Fifth Amendment rights dozens of times. Their attorney, John Gulash, did not respond to a request for comment about Tuesday’s legal filing.
Fight Voter Fraud founder Linda Szynkowicz said the long-shot legal filing is a test case.
“I came across this law. I was absolutely thrilled to see it, because – as you know – the State Election Enforcement Commission [SEEC] does not necessarily do what they're supposed to do."
SEEC has dismissed dozens of election fraud complaints from Szynkowicz’s group, according to a 2021 report from Hearst Connecticut Media.
“Complainant could have avoided the waste of these resources if she had ascertained the requirements of the law and the meaning of the data she produced as evidence,” an SEEC ruling read, according to Hearst.
The Connecticut Secretary of the State’s Office declined to comment on Tuesday’s legal maneuver.