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Connecticut Secretary of State Advises Residents to Vote in Person Amid Fraud Concerns

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Connecticut Secretary of State Stephanie Thomas (D) advised residents to vote in person amid fraud concerns.

Thomas’ newly updated guidance comes ahead of the state’s primary election on Jan. 23 between Democratic incumbent Mayor of Bridgeport Joe Ganim and his opponent John Gomes, according to NBC Connecticut.

While the state was working on increasing “state presence at City Hall,” ahead of the primary election later in the month, Thomas stressed that the “monitors cannot do it all.”

“Our monitors cannot do it all, and we encourage anyone who can do so to vote in person on January 23rd,” Thomas said in her statement. “If someone voted by absentee ballot, but is unsure if they should have done so, they may withdraw their absentee ballot by going in-person to the Town Clerk’s office before 10 a.m. on Election Day, and they may then bote at their assigned polling place.”

Thomas added since absentee ballot applications had become available at the end of December 2023 that the daily presence of election monitors Tim De Carlo and Peggy Reeves had “already yielded positive changes for residents in the city.”

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The updated guidance comes after Connecticut Superior Court Judge William Clark overturned the results of the mayoral primary election after video footage surfaced allegedly showing a Democratic clerk stuffing illegal ballots into a drop-off box multiple times in a day.

On the night of the election, Ganim had been trailing his opponent by 487 votes. The next morning, Ganim won the election after absentee ballots placed him ahead of his opponent by 251 votes, according to ABC7NY.

“The only way the other side was going to win was by stealing the election, and that’s what they did,” Gomes said at the time, according to the outlet. “Thank God, we hopefully have enough proof to overturn the results.”

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Clark wrote in his ruling that the plaintiff had “met its burden of proof” and established that there were “substantial violations” as “partisans who were not designated to handle such ballots” had placed absentee ballots in them.

“The volume of ballots so mishandled is such that it calls the result of the primary election in serious doubt and leaves the court unable to determine the legitimate result of the primary,” Clark wrote.

Ganim, who was first elected mayor in 1991 and served in office for 12 years before being convicted of racketeering, extortion, and other crimes, according to the Associated Press. After serving seven years in prison he was reelected in 2015, and then again in 2019.

Gomes grew up in Bridgeport after arriving in the United States from Cape Verde Islands in 1981, according to his campaign website. In 2008, Gomes served as the Director for CitiStat, the city’s response center before taking the role as the Acting Chief Administrative Officer under Ganim’s current administration.

In December 2022, Gomes officially filed paperwork to run for mayor of Bridgeport in the 2023 primary election.

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This article appeared originally on Independent Journal Review (IJR).

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