Bridgeport mayor wins do-over Democratic primary despite voting irregularities.(Part-2)

The court judgment came less than a week before the November general election, so it went forward. Ganim won narrowly again, but it didn't count.

Ganim, 63, was elected mayor in 1991 and lasted 12 years until resigning for taking bribes and kickbacks. He returned to work in 2015 after seven years in jail for racketeering, extortion, and other offenses. He was reelected in 2019.

Ganim touted city gains under his leadership in his newest campaign and encouraged voters not to alter course. Gomes, 53, from the Cape Verde Islands, came to the U.S. at 9 and grew up in Bridgeport, advocated for a more inclusive and transparent city administration.

For decades, state and federal authorities have investigated absentee voting issues in Bridgeport, a largely Democratic working-class community of 148,000 60 miles (100 km) east of New York community. Problems have forced new state legislature and municipal council primaries throughout the years.

Many issues involve ballot harvesting, when campaign staffers visit people's homes to help them fill out absentee ballots and mail or drop them off.

After receiving many referrals and concerns from Bridgeport police and others, the State Elections Enforcement Commission agreed to investigate the September primary in September. To restore voter trust and ensure the do-over, absentee ballot applications and ballots were serial-numbered.

Two state-appointed temporary election monitors spot-checked absentee vote applications in Bridgeport to verify their legitimacy. They also taught voters and city election workers election regulations. The Secretary of the State sent over a dozen impartial volunteers to polling stations to document voting difficulties and help register complaints

Despite attempts, each campaign accused the other of infractions in recent days. Gomes accused Ganim operatives of “harassing and bullying” voters in a WICC-AM discussion on Monday.

“We need to get rid of corruption in our city,” Gomes stated. Ganim refused to respond to “personal attacks” and encouraged voters: “We need to clear this up.” The State Elections Enforcement Commission received a complaint from Secretary of State Stephanie Thomas last week about fresh absentee ballot application accusations.