One week from the August 9 Democratic primary, as more than 1,000 absentee ballot requests have been processed by elections officials citywide, the campaign of State Senator Ed Gomes, battling Board of Education Chairman Dennis Bradley, has filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission claiming a campaign operative handled absentee ballots against state law.
The Gomes campaign issued this news release on Tuesday:
Aaron Turner, campaign manager for Sen. Ed Gomes announced today that a campaign staffer has filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission alleging gross irregularities by his opponent’s paid staff.
Turner noted that a Gomes canvasser was recently knocking on doors at the Fireside Apartments on Palisades Ave. In the course of talking with residents she quickly identified 5 individuals who all acknowledged that another resident came to their doors and removed Absentee Ballots under the cover that the neighbor will mail them for the other residents.
“This is a direct violation of the law. This is Absentee Ballot abuse in its simplest and purest form. The law empowers certain individuals (family members, care givers, nurses and police) to remove AB’s from a residence. This individual does not fall within the legal definition,” Turner noted.
“If we can easily uncover this level of abuse, one can only imagine the depth by which our opponent is trying to steal the election from us,” the manager continued.
Turner said that in addition to the formal complaint itself, he has written to both the Secretary of State and the Chair of the SEEC seeking the intervention and assistance in immediately addressing these abuses.
“Certain members of the Bridgeport Democratic Party feel empowered by the lack of severe enforcement action to continue to cheat and steal elections. We will not stoop to this level of campaigning but by following the law we continue to put our candidate at risk of losing in a rigged election,” Turner charged.
“We believe that the individual identified by our canvasser is also a paid staff member of Dennis Bradley’s campaign and that campaign is violating state law in acceptable uses of the CEEP funds. A follow-up complaint will be registered once that is confirmed,” Turner noted.
“They tried to steal our spot on the ballot by underhandedly violating state rules in the nominating process and attempted to block access to the ballot. When a Superior Court Judge overturned that action, they are now violating state laws in an attempt to steal the election. We will fight them for every vote and in every way possible to ensure a clean and honest election,” Turner concluded.