Lawsuit: Bridgeport mayor's campaign workers illegally manipulated absentee ballots
A new lawsuit claims Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim's campaign illegally manipulated absentee ballots. But a new allegation was made late Tuesday against Ganim's opponent.
When Mayor Ganim won the Democratic primary two weeks ago, it was because of absentee ballots mailed in ahead of time. But a new lawsuit claims Ganim campaign volunteers recruited absentee voters who weren't even eligible -- even filling out the application for them.
The suit also claims volunteers pressured absentee voters to pick the mayor over his opponent, State Sen. Marilyn Moore.
"People felt pressured and people felt taken advantage of, or tricked," said Gemeem Davis, Moore's campaign manager.
At Stratfield Apartments, which are for seniors, the suit claims City Clerk Lydia Martinez told a voter "one specific person to vote for." In another case, it's alleged she "pointed to" Mayor Ganim's line "on the ballot."
Martinez denies the accusations. City Council candidate Jorge Cruz, who is also named in the lawsuit, denies them as well.
State elections officials launched an investigation Monday after Hearst Connecticut Media uncovered similar allegations. The state has issued subpoenas for security camera footage and visitor logs at two public housing complexes.
Mayor Ganim said the Moore campaign "is in a tailspin," and added the lawsuit is nonsense. He accused Moore Tuesday of lying under oath about collecting ballot signatures.
"I think the candidate has to answer the questions," he said. "One, did she take these signatures or not? Two, if not, why would she sign under oath, under penalties of perjury, that she did?"
"He's just obviously trying to change the subject, which is very Trump, right?" Davis said. "It's very Trumpian, you know, which he's friends with."
A judge has set a hearing date of Oct. 1 at 2 p.m.