CT campaign workers accused of rigging 2019 mayoral election

Four Connecticut campaign workers representing rival sites in the 2019 Bridgeport mayoral primary have been arrested on voter fraud charges.

Bridgeport City Councilmen Alfredo Castillo and Wanda Geter-Pataky, vice chairwoman of the city’s Democratic Party, were charged Tuesday along with campaign workers Nilsa Heredia and Josephine Edmonds with illegally possessing absentee ballots, the Hartford Courant reported.

Geter-Pataky, Edmonds and Heredia also face witness tampering charges.

The charges come more than four years after a scandal-filled election between Mayor Joe Ganim and challenger State Sen. Marilyn Moore. Ganim’s initial victory was cast into doubt amid allegations that absentee ballots had been improperly handled, and the State Board of Election Enforcement subsequently launched a civil investigation.

Moore won in votes cast on Election Day, but Ganim exceeded her tally when mail-in votes were counted

Edmonds worked on Moore’s unsuccessful campaign while the other three defendants worked for Ganim. They faced a number of charges, including misrepresenting the eligibility requirements to vote by mail and neglecting to maintain a distribution list of mail-in ballots.

In a statement to News 12 Connecticut, Ganim said his team was just learning of the allegations against his supporters.

“We only learned from the media that people taking part in both mayoral primaries in 2019 were accused of violating election rules,” he said. “We have not received any details beyond what is in media reports.”

Meanwhile, Moore told the Hartford Courant she was “stunned” by Edmonds’ arrest.

“If she broke the law, she deserves the same treatment as anyone who broke the law,” Moore said.