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Crickets: Absentee Ballots For General Election

October 20th, 2017 · 36 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Council, City Politics, Education

Ya gotta love city political operatives’ absentee ballot machinations. Apples to apples at this point during hotly contested September Democratic primaries for City Council more than 1,000 absentee ballot requests citywide were made to the Town Clerk’s Office. What is it now for a general election where an additional 20,000 voters may participate? Just over 100. And so it goes in this sleepy election cycle.

Nine of 10 City Council districts had primaries in September. By the time primary day rolled around more than 1,600 absentee ballots had been issued, according to the Town Clerk’s Office, most of them in the traditional districts loaded with housing projects and elderly housing complexes. It’s something of a rite of passage in city politics–fish where the fish are to bank as many votes as possible in competitive districts. (Translation: they’ll not likely make it to the polls.)

And come the general election when facing a Republican registration outflanked 10 to 1, no need to covet absentee ballots, right? Gee, amazing how the timing works with little on the line.

On Nov. 7 six school board positions and all 20 City Council seats will appear on the ballot.

Voters will decide a two-year school board seat to fill out the four-year term of Republican Kevin McSpirit. Mayor Joe Ganim appointed John Weldon to temporarily fill that void last November until the next general election. Democrat Sybil Allen, a former City Council member, and Republican James Carbone, a former board member, will vie to fill the position.

Hernan Illingworth, a former board member, Jessica Martinez and Chaila Robinson, will appear on the Democratic line for four-year terms. Republicans will run Joe Sokolovic, Weldon and Chris Taylor. Sokolovic, Shavonne Davis and school board incumbent Howard Gardner will appear on the Working Families Party line. Sokolovic has two lines. City minister Sarah Lewis is running as a petitioning candidate.

Under state-mandated, minority-party representation up to six members of a major party may fill the nine school board seats. Maria Pereira, Dennis Bradley and Ben Walker are incumbent Dems on the school board whose terms are up in 2019.

So in this cycle, as a result of the Dems overwhelming registration advantage, Republicans will duke it out with the Working Families Party for the three minority-party BOE slots.


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36 Comments so far ↓

  • Joseph Sokolovic

    Great post. One problem though, a petitioning candidate is not a political party, thus is not subject to minority party rule. A petitioning candidate (unless running with a minority party affiliation) will have his/her party registration taken into consideration after the vote is counted. Therefore, if Ms. Lewis is a registered democrat and she filed her petition without a minor party affiliation she must beat out one of the three Dems in order to win. I wish Ms. Lewis the best of luck. Going it alone is quite admirable and a tough road to walk.

    I wish all the candidates the best of luck and if I’m elected, I would be honored to work with each and any one of you. Nov 7 2017 here we come.

    • LennieGrimaldi

      Joe, she is a registered Dem.

      • Joseph Sokolovic

        Thanks Lennie. So if my understanding is correct the board race breaks down as follow. 1. The two year seat is settled (likely going dem) leaving 2 seats left for Illingsworth, Robinson, Martinez, and Lewis. 2. Regardless of outcome the 3 remaining seats will go to some combination Sokolovic, Gardner, Weldon, Davis and Taylor.

        Anybody see it differently?

        • The Bridgeport Kid

          I see an interesting election day ahead. The usual bullshit will occur, candidates standing outside the 75-foot limit begging for votes and passing out pamplets and brochures that will be tossed, unread, into a garbage can ten seconds later.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    The Machine has been hobbled by court ordered oversight. This could actually be a fair election, or something like it.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    “[Judge] Bellis appointed attorney Max Medina, former chair of the Board of Education, to oversee the primary and general election in the district.” (OIB, 10/17/17) 

    That includes the absentee ballots. The Evil Empire will not be able to activate its Uranium Q-36 Exploding AB Manipulator… 

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      “The absentee ballot that was added to the tally at the re-canvass had been properly administered by the city’s election officials and was proper… The election result was placed in doubt through a record keeping error,” according to Deputy City Attorney John C. Bohannon. 

      Judge Bellis disagreed. 

      • The Bridgeport Kid

        More from the Connecticut Post:

        “… Deputy City Attorney John Bohannon repeatedly told the judge that Clemons had done nothing inappropriate, and that in fact the discrepancy with the absentee ballot was the result of a record-keeping error.

        “’It is my point that the absentee ballot was properly received and registered,’ he told the judge.

        “Bohannon also initially objected to any monitor being appointed.
        ‘Well there certainly were irregularities, and that’s why everyone is going to have a new primary,’ the judge replied. ‘What is the harm in having a neutral person overseeing the election?’”

  • Donald Day

    Yo Derek, where did that come from?

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      The Post.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      It pays to do research to back up one’s position.

      • Lisa Parziale

        Kid, eventually we’ll know how that ballot suddenly appeared at the recount. There was collusion surrounding that ballot, it was the effort of a City Office and the TC. It will come out when Donald has an opportunity to testify. I don’t believe Clemons, or his staff had anything to do with the elusive ballot. Someone with access to the stored ballots played a part.

        • The Bridgeport Kid

          You and I are of the same mind, Lisa. I don’t believe Mr. Clemons was  aware of any legal liability until he was on the witness stand. It will all come out in court. 

          Don’t you love a happy ending?

        • The Bridgeport Kid

          The mysterious ballot is the first in a long line of dominoes…

        • Ron Mackey

          Lisa, I trust your political instincts and as I follow your comments on this topic you said, “There was collusion surrounding that ballot, it was the effort of a City Office and the TC,” do you think that there was criminal intent? Let me see, what other City Offices it could be, the office of the Mayor, the city Clerk Office, Labor Relation, Finance, Civil Service, City Attorney, Chief Administrative Office, these are some of the City offices, hmmmm, now I wonder which office could be involve if any or was it the Town Clerk’s Office?

          • The Bridgeport Kid


            Joe Ganim is too smart, too crafty to have anything to do with this. The City Attirney’s Office ouldn’t touch the ballot. It had to be someone in the town clerk’s office.

          • Ron Mackey

            I was following up on what Lisa had suggested “There was collusion surrounding that ballot, it was the effort of a City Office and the TC.”

            Well, maybe we need to use Sherlock Holmes’ method of Deductive  Reasoning.

          • The Bridgeport Kid

            I’ll wait for the State’s Attorney’s Office. They will issue a mountain of subpoenas, tear apart a few lives and examine what shajes loose.

          • The Bridgeport Kid

            By the way,

            The town clerk’s office is well connected to the Evil Empire of the DTC. Emperor Mario stuck Lydia Martinez in there. She was the Queen of the ABs as you may recall. During Sana Ayala’s reign lf confusion there was some hijinx during the mayoral race between Enrique Torres, Mary-Jane Foster and Darth Ganim. It required legal action. 

          • Ron Mackey

            Derek, you said, “The town clerk’s office is well connected to the Evil Empire of the DTC. Emperor Mario stuck Lydia Martinez in there. She was the Queen of the ABs,” now, that’s Deductive Reasoning.

          • Joel Gonzalez

            Bridgeport Kid and Ron Mackey, there is a difference between the Town Clerk Office which is directed by don Clemons and the City Clerks office directed by Lydia Martinez. The City Clerks Office has very little to do with this AB Ballot matter. If it’s necessary to include another department other than the Town Clerk directed by Don Clemens in a future probe or investigation, that office could only be the Registrar of Voters Office. As far as I know, the Town clerks Office sends all AB’s and election documents to the Registrars Office. They are put in bags, sealed, and tagged before and after the ballots are opened and counted.

            If the ballots were bagged, sealed and put away after the count on primary day/night, how did another one make it into the bag after? Assuming that the mysterious ballot made it to the TC Office and the Registrars of Voters on or before primary day.

            If the AB ballots had the names of 4 Democrats and the recounts was for just 2 of the 4, why was just 1 extra vote counted? Sounds like the person who voted with this ballot voted for just one candidate and it just happened to be for Herron.

          • Ron Mackey

            Joel, sounds like deductive reasoning, the picture is looking a little clearer. This was no accident.

          • The Bridgeport Kid


            So I mixed up a few department titles. The ballots changed hands a few times. Whose hands did they pass through? That’s the question the State’s Attorney and the court will determine.

          • Lisa Parziale

            Ron, how about the Registrar’s Office? Mario has his say in quite a few decisions made there. i.e. supervised balloted, he gives and up or down.

          • The Bridgeport Kid

            I have to wonder if the ballot was from one of the eternal residents of Mountain Grove Cemetery. Deputy City Attorney John C. Bohannon argued the ballot had been ‘properly registered and argued, unsuccessfully, against court ordered supervision of the primary. (Apparently he wasn’t working for the people of the city of Bridgeport that day.)

  • Joel Gonzalez

    Ironically, this was the sound (for 5 seconds) in the court room before Don Clemon’s plea of the 5th.


  • Lisa Parziale

    Kid, Bohannon is representing the City, he would love for it to be just a record-keeping error.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      I know that, Lisa. Judge Bellis, using the neutral language of the court, called “Bullshit!” on his explanation.

      If Mr. Clemons is smart he will hire outside counsel. The City Attorney’s Office would not represent his interests.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    I’ve been keeping up on this.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    There are a few parallels between Donald Trump and Joseph P. Ganim. Both won election by appealing to the disenfranchised. Both mislead the public, both made campaign promises that have gone unfulfilled. Both are narcissistic gas bags. And both are antipathetic, passively cruel toward the very people that voted for them.   

    The absentee ballot in question was most likely planted by someone in the Town Clerk’s office with connections to the DTC. Just one more cynical ploy to maintain control of the public offices in Bridgeport. Don Clemons, a man held in high regard by many (including several regulars on this blog) was used as a patsy. Nothing is too sleazy, nothing too underhanded if it allows the DTC’s leadership to keep the keys to the kingdom.

    Now, with Judge Bellis “referring” the case to the State’s Attorney (more like an order of the court, actually) the truth will come out. Good. 

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