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Finch Campaign Files Complaint With State Over Supervised Balloting

September 9th, 2015 · 28 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events

Mayor Bill Finch’s Campaign Manager Maryli Secrest has filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission and Office of the Connecticut Secretary of the State regarding “the disenfranchise of electors who have requested an absentee ballot and will be prevented from voting by this process.”

In the complaint Secrest asserts that Democratic Registrar Sandi Ayala and Town Clerk Alma Maya are “failing to adhere to Connecticut election law.”

As of Wednesday morning, one week from the September 16 Democratic primary, more than 300 absentee ballots have been returned to the Town Clerk’s Office out of roughly 2,500 applications mailed citywide to voters with perhaps a couple of thousand more possibly being mailed. That could mean a last-minute mail dump into the office. Meanwhile Ayala has started supervised balloting at possibly two dozen addresses where more than 20 absentee ballots have been requested.

Many of the usual locations for supervised balloting are underway, such as nursing homes. The big question is supervised balloting for P.T. Barnum Apartments which appears to be a stronghold for Mayor Bill Finch’s political operation. Time is winding down to organize a location at the complex for residents to vote absentee in lieu of making it to the Aquaculture School polling location nearby. Ayala is attempting to organize a location in conjunction with the housing authority. Finch supporters maintain Ayala’s zeal for supervised balloting there and other locations throughout the city is disenfranchising voters. Ayala contends she’s ordering supervised balloting so voters are not strong-armed by political camps to vote a particular way in light of the high volume of absentee ballots requests.

The Town Clerk’s Office provides a list to the Registrar’s Office of electors seeking to vote by absentee ballot that are designated supervised balloting locations by Ayala.

The Town Clerk’s Office also reports hundreds of problem absentee ballot applications such as incorrect affiliation or unregistered residents. A handful of voters have also called the office to report they did not request an absentee ballot after having received one.

Political operatives drop off the applications at the Town Clerk’s Office. Once the absentee ballots are mailed, campaign camps will contact many of the voters reminding them to return the ballot by mail. In the closing days of this hotly contested primary the camps of Finch and Joe Ganim are trying to bank every possible vote while Mary-Jane Foster’s campaign has been screaming about the high volume of absentee ballot requests including a complaint filed with the state by Foster supporter Bob Walsh.

Secrest is challenging Ayala’s interpretation of the state statute providing authority over supervised balloting. She writes:

“… I believe an additional premature directive was made from the Registrar to the Town Clerk with respect to at least the following addresses for no apparent reason: 199 Yacht Street; 55 Shell Street; 280 Jewett Avenue; and 254 Union Avenue. Also, the Registrar is apparently treating the P.T. Barnum housing project, which consists of a number of buildings at a number of addresses, as a single “street address” subject to this statute.”

In the complaint Secrest cites two voters who requested absentee ballots but have not received them.

“… There is no list of times for voting in any of the locations. Neither the Town Clerk or Registrar has posted any notice, or sent any notice to electors who requested absentee ballots, to alert electors that they will not be receiving their requested ballot, that they must vote through supervised balloting, if as they have already stated, they are unable to vote on election day, or when supervised voting will take place.”

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28 Comments so far ↓

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Absentee ballots, the preferred method of winning elections in Bridgeport, Connecticut, “the park city.” It is more than a little ironic Joe Ganim, who was convicted of public corruption and racketeering (and whose candidacy has been “endorsed” by Christina Ayala, a former state representative facing trial for election fraud) is the one demanding transparency and calling for state monitoring of the absentee ballots. The town clerks’ office is reporting hundreds of troublesome absentee ballot applications with the wrong party affiliation and those submitted for unregistered voters. A few people have called the town clerk’s office to report receiving an AB they didn’t apply for. One has to wonder how many of these AB apps originated with Wanda Jeter and other Finch campaign operatives. Ain’t politics great?!

    P.T. Barnum Apartments used to be Danny Roach’s vote mine so he knows better than anyone what sort of chicanery will go on there if left unchecked by the responsible authorities. Bill Finch’s campaign is in panic mode, depending on Wanda Jeter to deliver a primary Mr. Finch has no hope of winning legitimately, so he and his minions will cynically play on the ignorance of the people living in a public housing complex, banking on them voting however Ms. Jeter tells them to vote.

    If Denise Merrill had any integrity she would send representatives to monitor the electoral process here. I’m guessing Governor Malloy told her to butt out. It was Bridgeport, after all, that delivered him to a second term, missing ballots and all.

  • Vale la Pena

    Nooo, Finch will never do any illegal stuff to remain in office. He’s got this in the bank.
    LMAO
    What? He is not on TV today making another bogus announcement!
    I’m surprised he’s not holding a press conference every time he needs to take a dump to tell us how good his shit is.
    Bridgeport is getting better every day … jajajaja.

  • Frank the Cabana Boy

    Looks like they’re trying to cover Lydia and Wanda’s arses.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      This being Bridgeport, it goes without saying both the Finch and Ganim campaigns will engage in at least a modicum of unethical behavior in order to secure the nomination.

      Bill Finch had no complaints four years ago when Santa Ayala treated “P.T. Barnum as a single street address” when he won a second term. Hypocrisy is such a dreadful bore.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    Anyone else find it ironic an “Ayala” is trying to make sure things are legit???

  • charlie

    Why in hell isn’t AYALA in jail!!! This political pig is one of the many reasons people avoid opening businesses in the “Corrupt City.”

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Maryli Secrest (The Gnome) is trying to take preventive measures to stop any complaints about their AB operation, which has always and I mean always been suspect to a point their operatives are continually fined by the state. All the locations mentioned are used to get voting money from Democratic operators. The only location I am not sure about is Jewett Ave. The others have been receiving voter money for years. Here is one for Secrest, Finch has one of these money people on the city payroll. He used to pass out money in Success Park and the rest of East Side Middle. He was so good at it he got a $47K job with the city. Ms. Secrest is full of shit.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Maryli Secrest and Danny Roach and Bob Walsh are all trying to gain the upper hand at “protecting” the integrity of the voting process in Bridgeport. Ms. Secrest, an experienced political operative, is trying to protect Finch’s fraud team. Ganim’s fraudsters are better than Finch’s. Mary-Jane Foster can only stare, aghast.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    OFF TOPIC BUT SOMETHING FINCH CAN LOOK INTO:
    Does mayor Finch know about one of his most talked-about schools? Does mayor Finch know the soccer field he added after construction started took away almost all the teacher parking? Does mayor Finch know about all the problems found when school opened? Where was the company we pay millions to watch over these kind of projects? Where was the retired teacher who was hired for $600 a day to oversee construction and layout even though he does not know a 2×4 from a 2×8?

    What do you expect when you spend millions upon millions of dollars on a new school? I would expect everything would be in working order. I would expect the teachers would have on-premises parking and not have to share parking with liquor store patrons and the homeless. Right now the teachers and parents have to park under the thruway if they are coming to school.
    What greeted teachers on the first day of school sounds like problems one would see from a condemned school. The elevator to the second floor was not working and now is working sporadically and having trapped teachers inside three different times.
    There were no telephones working in the school and there is no way to notify 600 kids of an emergency. Piping in the cooler room on the second floor broke dumping water onto the first floor. The air conditioning is not working properly, rooms on the second floor reached 87 degrees. There are no computers for the kids or for the computer teacher. There are many, many outlets with no outlet covers and exposed wiring. There are light fixtures falling down and so far no one was hurt. Who inspected this school before we took possession?

    • Advanced Therapy

      This went in front of the common council way back. The president of the teachers union asked that they look into this. But once again it fell on deaf ears!

  • Donald Day

    That’s it Kid, you have the student and the teacher. The teacher is saying I taught you this game and now you’re trying use what I taught you to beat me?

    The question now is did he teach him enough and/or whether he taught everything and did the student learn enough to outplay the teacher in the teacher’s major.

  • Vale la Pena

    *********BREAKING NEWS*********

    *********Do not miss the Grand Opening of Bass Pro Shops, Chipotle, Starbucks, Luxury Cinemas and more*********

    I know, I know they are not ready to open. Bass Pro does not have any merchandise, Chipotle does not have any guacamole, Starbucks no coffee and the Luxury Cinema is not even under construction.

    But Mayor Finch will make up a grand opening just to be on TV for 30 seconds before election day.

    By the way, don’t miss Mayor Finch’s special guest Steven Auerbach.

  • Steven Auerbach

    Damn, I am getting up there in popularity. I am a good sport. If I am being attacked because I am a staunch Finch supporter, well that suits me just fine! This is nothing compared to the excitement of Mayor Finch in the neighborhoods. I do not think Ganim ever had a chance. I think the Fence and Trumbull Garden vigils were the beginning of Ganim’s slow descent. Foster, well I meant well. Thank you for not listening. Seriously! Mayor Finch, keep blowing your horn. Pretty soon you will have Gonzalez, Fox and Bridgeport Kid blowing your horn! Their comments are acts of desperation and disrespect. I will be back on the campaign trail on Friday and like most Finch supporters we are excited! Ganim and Foster, what is there to get excited about??? This is about the future of our great city!

  • Wicca

    Dear Maryli:
    Why is it disenfranchising voters to keep the process legal? Why would your campaign file a complaint AGAINST keeping the AB process lawful? If there is nothing to worry about, don’t worry. The city government is a key agency citizens rely on to UPHOLD the law.

    The current Administration has no problem notifying folks when they are not paying taxes. They want to keep THAT process lawful.

    This looks really really really effing bad. It looks like you are going down kicking and screaming trying to steal an election. And the bitch about it is none of you folks give a shit. You are willing to protect law breakers to keep a “criminal” out of office. You are truly an insult to the electorate.

  • Bob Walsh

    Paging John from Black Rock,
    Paging John from Black Rock,
    John, please share with us your concerns about your candidate’s efforts to win this election through absentee ballot fraud. Is this part of the overall philosophy of it takes a thief to catch a thief? Is it OK to break the law in order to defeat the lawbreaker?

  • Bob Walsh

    Blogging live from the Who U debate.
    Too many candidates, too few spectators.
    It appears the mayor is not a morning person. He needed to read his notes to discuss economic development.

  • Bob Walsh

    One week before the election and you have five participants who are not even on the ballot. If I were Finch I would be very happy with this lineup. If I were the BRBC I would be embarrassed.
    Looks like the ballot box was stuffed with too many candidates but we all know the Finch Team likes their ballot boxes stuffed (at least with ABs).

  • Bob Walsh

    Dave Daniels gets the first chuckle from both the audience and participants, intended or not, when he asked Mike Daly to repeat the question please. The question was will you commit to hiring more staff in the Economic Development Department.

  • Bob Walsh

    Finch in answering that question and touting his economic development efforts said when compared to other cities our department might be overstaffed.
    Eh?

  • Bob Walsh

    Joe Ganim still talking about the Ballpark and Arena. My followup would be to ask Joe when was the last time one of these venues was sold out.

  • Bob Walsh

    When asked about jobs for city residents, Charlie Coviello said this is his number-one priority. I think Charlie was talking about himself. Only kidding.

  • Bob Walsh

    Bill Finch is downing the water and wiping his brow. Seems like he is feeling the heat rather than feeling the love.

  • Ron Mackey

    Thanks Bob, for the blow-by-blow.

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