Merrill Requests Civil Probe Of Absentee Ballot Allegations

The State Elections Enforcement Commission has civil authority to probe election law violations. It has no criminal oversight of elections and has no authority to vacate an election result. Such a measure must be traveled through state court. Most SEEC investigations take at least several months and now up to a year. It can, upon an investigation, refer allegations for a criminal probe to state law enforcement officials.

The deadline for bringing a complaint to the Superior Court to contest the September 10th primary results is September 24.

See the certified vote for the 2019primaryresults.

From the CT Post:

The State Elections Enforcement Commission has scheduled a special meeting for Monday to consider an investigation into absentee ballot irregularities uncovered in a Hearst Connecticut Media report.



    1. …..and all the “officials” quoted are surprised and will now investigate. Yeah right!!! They were always aware about all the elections issues and WERE ASKED to monitor but refused to do so.
      I’m sure they’ll do a bang up job now!!
      I’ll believe it when I see convictions. I won’t hold my breath.
      Bring in the feds.

      1. Rich, of course they were aware of what has been going on for years and did nothing because they need those votes for the national and senator election for Democrats.

        1. Exactly.
          That’s why I said on the other topic:
          Mario delivers.
          Which is why nothing really ever gets properly adjudicated. It’s all a farce which why I mentioned that this should get into the national media to make the Feds take notice.

          1. What happened this time defies history, Joel. Marilyn Moore won on the machines. Once the absentee ballots were counted Little Joe Ganim was the winner with a 299 vote surplus. Given the city’s history of AB fraud it was inevitable the primary would be investigated.

        2. I’ve never heard of a federal election (US HOUSE AND SENATE) won or lost due to ABs in Connecticut. The margins from the machines seem too much for ABs to decide. In a very close election the ABs can make a difference. There’s a difference in that AB fraud in federal races are investigated by the feds.

          1. Sometimes a primary or election may have combined federal, state, or local candidates on the ballots in which case the feds can investigate.

          2. We may be sending a candidate to a federal office, the election is still a state election. There’s no such thing as a federal election. The only office that states join to vote on is the president via the electoral college.

          3. Eric Alicea, you missed what’s in parentheses. Trying to keep my writing short as possible. Paging JML.

    2. I have mixed feelings about how SEEC conducts investigations. They do dig as much as they can. I’ve posted links to the complaints I’ve filed since 2008 and if one reads them, you’ll get a good glimpse of their efforts. SEEC hasn’t closed the biggest of my complaints against Senator Andres Ayala Committees. I spoke with a SEC official about 9 months ago and he stated that he was going to speak to him and come to some agreement or understanding. Still waiting so long that I can’t remember the year I filed the complaint.

    3. I’ve said it before and will say it again: absentee ballot fraud in Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury, Hartford and other cities and towns is well known to the Secretary Of State’s office, part of the institutional knowledge, a dirty little secret that no one discusses. Mario Testa and the other committee chairmen in Connecticut’s cities-Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury, Hartford-deliver the votes that have kept the Democratic Party in control of statewide offices. Why mess up a good thing? Public office holders have ignored the elephant in the room, for decades. Hearst Connecticut Media just demonstrated the power of the First Amendment and a vigorous free press. Yesterday’s front page story (“Hearst CT probe: Bridgeport absentee voting rife with problems”) was not a fluff piece-it was researched and written by six reporters including Ken Dixon.

      Denise Merrill can no longer ignore the elephant in the room; the shit’s piling up.

    4. This Senator feels the same

      Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement after learning that now, only after Hearst Media published a scathing article on the absentee ballot irregularities in the Bridgeport primary, is Secretary of the State Merrill finally doing something about the absentee ballot concerns raised by Senator Moore and Senator Fasano by asking the SEEC to investigate.

      “Secretary Merrill does absolutely nothing when Senator Moore raises concerns. She does absolutely nothing when I echo those concerns. But now, because she looks bad in the press, she finally speaks to say that maybe another agency should perhaps investigate the disturbing alleged abuse of the state’s absentee ballot system. The Secretary of the State’s job is to protect Democracy in our state and ensure every vote is counted fairly and equally. Yet when asked multiple times to look at Bridgeport she has refused. Even now, her response as the person responsible for maintaining the public’s trust in the entire voting system is severely lacking. It shows a greater concern for public appearance than actually protecting voters.

      “Clearly the absentee ballot system in the state needs to be closely examined, not just by the SEEC, but by the Secretary of the State’s Office as well. I am not asking Secretary Merrill to enforce violations of state law, but I am asking that she investigate and look into concerns when raised so that she can understand and potentially fix the issues within the system she oversees. While she has shied away from taking an active role in improving the system in place today, she has spent quite a bit of time advocating to expand the very same fraud-ridden absentee ballot system to allow for no-excuse early voting. Perhaps before the Secretary of the State expands a system, she should make sure its operating free from fraud today.

      “Secretary Merrill takes every opportunity she can to warn people about election interference on the national level and Washington politics, saying earlier this week that she ‘fears for our country’ because of future election interference in 2020. But when it comes to her own backyard and the communities and voters here in Connecticut she has been silent. She has ignored Senator Moore and dismissed my concerns. Oddly enough, her letter responding to my concerns came with a cautionary message that making claims of fraud unsupported by evidence ‘runs the risk of undermining Connecticut voters’ faith in the electoral process and discouraging voters from making their voices heard.’ I guess when politics are at play, she doesn’t listen to her own advice.”

  1. When the people have spoken and voted ganim out by almost 400 votes at the polls but absentee are so lopsided and people stayed they were pressured to vote for him it must be investigated and somebody needs to be charged if it comes back as fraud. They tried to silence are voices at the polls

  2. Denise Merrill acts like this is the first time that Bridgeport has had irregularities (cheating) with respect to Absentee Ballots. We’ve had people fined and elections redone because of the same irregularities. Mayor Ganim, Mario and the gangsters of the DTC know this to be the case and that there is no punishment forthcoming for these irregularities or none that the DTC can’t afford to pay for the actions of the DTC gangsters.

  3. What everyone should remember about Denise Merrill, and every statewide constitutional officer, is that they rely on Mario Testa’s and the DTC’s massive AB operation to help them get elected every four years.

    None of them would likely win without Bridgeport.

    I have filed numerous SEEC complaints and have another 4-5 to file from the September 10th Primary. Even those dismissed take months to investigate. If they are finding evidence that warrants a deep dive it easily takes over a year.

    We filed a complaint against Lydia Martinez’ girl, Sonia Belardo, in Fireside Senior Housing in August 2016. She was not fined $6,000 until June 2018.

    I strongly encourage those who have supporting evidence of AB fraud to file SEEC complaints. Often when they are dismissed those that voted by AB become nervous/wary and completely stop voting by AB.

  4. To paraphrase from Macbeth, “It is a tale … full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

    My Harding High School English Lit. teacher would be very surprised I remembered that.

  5. Smoke and mirrors… How dumb do they think people are?
    Just corruption to the core!!!

    Sickens me the most vulnerable continue to be exploited, our elderly…

    Just sad!!

  6. It don’t mean a thing unless it’s a criminal investigation. Just when you thought Denise was growing a pair she takes the easy way out.
    We need the FBI to begin an investigation.
    Right now Ganim, Mario And their posey are laughing at you.

  7. These are the totals from the Sept 10, 2019 Primary. Some of Moore’s slate WON on the machine as well.


    ▪️MAYOR ▪️
    LINE A: Joseph P. Ganim *
    – 4,337 Machine Ballots
    – 967 Absentee Ballots
    5,304 TOTAL

    LINE B: Marilyn Moore
    -4,721 Machine Ballots
    – 313 Absentee Ballots
    5,034 TOTAL

    ▪️CITY CLERK▪️
    LINE A: Lydia N. Martinez *
    – 4,183 Machine Ballots
    – 939 Absentee Ballots
    5,122 TOTAL

    LINE B: Alma L. Maya
    – 4,240 Machine Ballots
    – 258 Absentee Ballots
    4,498 TOTAL

    ▪️TOWN CLERK▪️
    LINE A: Charles D. Clemons, Jr *
    – 4,334 Machine Ballots
    – 907 Absentee Ballots
    5,241 TOTAL

    LINE B: Christopher L. Caruso
    – 4,070 Machine Ballots
    – 286 Absentee Ballots
    4,356 TOTAL

    LINE A: Sybil Allen *
    – 4,170 Machine Ballots
    – 908 Absentee Ballots
    5,078 TOTAL

    LINE A: Albert Benejan *
    – 3,879 Machine Ballots
    – 851 Absentee Ballots
    4,730 TOTAL

    LINE A: Bobbi Brown *
    – 4,346 Machine Ballots
    – 890 Absentee Ballots
    5,236 TOTAL

    LINE B: Amina Brown
    – 4,195 Machine Ballots
    – 278 Absentee Ballots
    4,473 TOTAL

    LINE B: Dash T. Spell
    – 3,712 Machine Ballots
    – 251 Absentee Ballots
    3,963 TOTAL

    Eric Stewart-Alicea
    – 3,977 Machine Ballots
    – 257 Absentee Ballots
    4,234 TOTAL

    LINE A: Stephen M. Nelson *
    – 4,118 Machine Ballots
    – 886 Absentee Ballots
    5,006 TOTAL

    LINE A: Mitchell Robles *
    – 3,881 Machine Ballots
    – 869 Absentee Ballots
    4,750 TOTAL

    LINE A: Dennis Scinto *
    – 3,959 Machine Ballots
    – 873 Absentee Ballots
    4,832 TOTAL

    LINE B: Ernest Brown
    – 3,937 Machine Ballots
    – 251 Absentee Ballots
    4,188 TOTAL

    LINE B: Jacqueline Richardson
    – 4,086 Machine Ballots
    – 285 Absentee Ballots
    4,371 TOTAL

    LINE B: Wesley J. Matthews
    – 4,114 Machine Ballots
    – 277 Absentee Ballots
    4,391 TOTAL

    ▪️CITY COUNCIL: 131st District ▪️
    LINE A: Denese Taylor-Moye *
    – 253 Machine Ballots
    – 151 Absentee Ballots
    404 TOTAL

    LINE A: Jorge Cruz *
    – 280 Machine Ballots
    – 161 Absentee Ballots
    441 TOTAL

    LINE B: Mary Bruce
    – 306 Machine Ballots
    – 38 Absentee Ballots
    344 TOTAL

    LINE B: Samaris Rose
    – 287 Machine Ballots
    – 34 Absentee Ballots
    321 TOTAL

    ▪️CITY COUNCIL: 132nd District ▪️
    LINE A: M. Evette Brantley *
    – 365 Machine Ballots
    – 147 Absentee Ballots
    512 TOTAL

    LINE A: Marcus Brown *
    – 391 Machine Ballots
    – 149 Absentee Ballots
    540 TOTAL

    LINE B: Cynthia Torres
    – 410 Machine Ballots
    – 57 Absentee Ballots
    467 TOTAL

    LINE B: Kyle Langan
    – 447 Machine Ballots
    – 55 Absentee Ballots
    502 TOTAL

    ▪️CITY COUNCIL: 136th District ▪️
    LINE A: Alfredo Castillo *
    – 284 Machine Ballots
    – 74 Absentee Ballots
    358 TOTAL

    LINE A: Maria Zambrano Viggiano *
    – 288 Machine Ballots
    – 73 Absentee Ballots
    361 TOTAL

    LINE B: Carmen Nieves
    – 188 Machine Ballots
    – 3 Absentee Ballots
    191 TOTAL

    LINE B: Rigoberto Giusti
    – 177 Machine Ballots
    – 2 Absentee Ballots
    179 TOTAL

    ▪️CITY COUNCIL: 138th District ▪️
    LINE A: Karen Jackson
    – 463 Machine Ballots
    – 73 Absentee Ballots
    536 TOTAL

    LINE A: Nessah J. Smith
    – 494 Machine Ballots
    – 79 Absentee Ballots
    573 TOTAL

    LINE B: Maria Pereira *
    – 484 Machine Ballots
    – 183 Absentee Ballots
    667 TOTAL

    LINE B: Samia Suliman *
    – 484 Machine Ballots
    – 178 Absentee Ballots
    662 TOTAL

    LINE C: Michaela Barr-Brant
    – 67 Machine Ballots
    – 2 Absentee Ballots
    69 TOTAL

    LINE C: Tony Barr
    – 131 Machine Ballots
    – 8 Absentee Ballots
    139 TOTAL

  8. Lopsided? Most voters vote straight down the line. I split my vote in the primary. The lopsided votes in the 138th. Is due to Maria Pereira’s team. They did what needed to be done with their AB operation. Multiply 183 (pereiras AB) by 10 (number of districts) =1830. With a small team and a little bit of money, team Pereira did what team Ganim did. The AB numbers for Ganim are low considering their machinery and $300,000 plus raised. Keep in mind that about 1,400 ABs weren’t sent back to the Town Clerks office. Paging Lennie Grimaldi! What’s your take on this?

    1. Say what you want but there’s an investigation of election violations in HOW the abs were obtained.

      As noted in comments it’s typical of the DTC (Mario) to manipulate the outcomes of Bridgeport elections. Decades of this strategy.

      What I find most disturbing is HOW you and others continue to defend the illegal practice.

      Is there a way to get rid of the “MACHINE?” I say no, because it has too many players involved but you can start to chip away its influence.

      The larger majority are uninvolved because they probably feel like their VOTE (voice) doesn’t make a difference.

      The goal should be to inject HOPE and have them come to the POLLS for those that are able.
      Have Supervised oversight in those facilities that house elderly and disabled…
      Senator MOORE got people to the POLLS and BEAT HIM. That’s NEVER been DONE…

  9. Just as I suspected, Maria took the advise of Mayor Ganim, Mario and the DTC, just be close on the machines and take the victory with the AB’s. You learned well Maria. John Ricci, $1000 well spent.

  10. Here is a list going back to 1990 of “fraudulent use of absentee ballots:

    City Councilwoman Lydia Martinez admitted to illegally assisting in the filling out of absentee ballots, as well as encouraging those not eligible to vote absentee to do so. Martinez targeted residents of an assisted living home, Harborview Towers. She was ordered by the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission to pay a $500 fine. This was not the first time she was fined by the Commission: In 2008, she was found liable to pay $664 to the Citizens Election Fund for the excess expenditures her campaign committee made for her failed run for the State House.

    Sybil Allen, while serving as a Democrat on the Bridgeport Town Committee, engaged in a range of absentee ballot-related fraud. Allen completed ballot applications in the name of residents, forged signatures, and on at least one occasion got a voter to forge a ballot registration form for a family member who no longer lived in the community. Allen also told one voter that a candidate was not on the ballot and watched voters fill out their ballots before taking possession of them. Allen eventually agreed to pay a civil fine of $5,000 and was barred from running for re-election for two years.

    Warren Blunt, a city councilman in Bridgeport, pleaded guilty to being present while people cast their absentee ballots and subsequently taking those ballots while running for re-election in the town’s Democratic primary. The State of Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission fined Blunt $2,500 and required him to resign from the town committee. He was also barred from running for elected office again for two years.

    As part of a “get out the vote” campaign leading up to the 2000 election, Ronald Caveness admitted to distributing absentee ballots, being present while people filled them out, and then collecting them. After an investigation by the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission, he agreed to resign from the Democratic Town Committee, not seeking re-election for two years, and pay a fine of $4,000, which was eventually reduced to $1,000.

    Paulette Park, while working for a candidate for Bridgeport’s 2000 Democratic Town Committee primary election, illegally persuaded voters to list false reasons for requesting absentee ballots, assisted them in applying for absentee ballots, and took possession of the absentee ballots after watching voters fill them out. The State of Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission fined her $5,000 and banned her from working on future campaigns.

    Jacqueline Rogers was a campaign worker for James Holloway, a candidate for City Council. In the 1993 primary, she was paid $150 to dress up in a nurse’s uniform with a certified nurse nametag and solicit “emergency” absentee ballots from patients. She instructed at least one voter to cast her ballot for Holloway. The primary was ultimately decided in Holloway’s favor by just nine votes. The Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission barred her from participating in political campaigns for five years.

    Curtis Mouning, a campaign volunteer for State Representative Mario Testa during the 1990 election, admitted to signing the names of five of his friends and family members to request absentee ballots to vote in the primary. He was ordered to pay a civil penalty to the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission in the amount of $500.

    Former state representative Christina Ayala pleaded guilty to two counts of providing a false statement and was sentenced to a suspended one-year prison term followed by two years of conditional discharge. Ayala had voted in a series of elections, including the 2012 presidential election, in districts in which she did not live. When confronted about residency discrepancies by state investigators, Ayala fabricated evidence to corroborate her false residency claims. Before agreeing to a plea deal, she faced eight counts of fraudulent voting, 10 counts of primary or enrollment violations, and one count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. As a condition of her plea deal, she is barred from seeking elected office for two years.

    1. Ron Mackey, most of the cases you point out is ancient history. Can you provide any more information about the woman hired by the Moore campaign who was convicted in 2018 for AB fraud in Stratford. I’m interested in knowing if there were conditions such as not participating in political activities for a period of time. As I understand she was arrested by Stratford police and it appears SEEC wasn’t involved.

  11. The evidence is piling up by the hour. Marilyn Moore needs to get a real good attorney but be careful who is chosen. Not a single one in BPT. And previously mentioned attorneys in New Haven can be suspect as well. There are names in the CT Post article and all one needs to do is to ask more tenants of Twin Towers. Votes from P.T. Barnum housing complex may be more difficult to find but some effort will probably find something but the treasure trove is Twin Towers. Go to CT Superior Court and start. Get an order to be able to interview every resident. Have witnesses. Video it if possible. This needs to be done ASAP. Like in this coming week. Mario Testa will immediately become incontinent.

    1. There’s nothing stopping you from going to PT, Twin Towers or any where you think you should investigate. It’s how I do it. It’s how others have done it. File complaints when you think you’re done. Good luck.

      1. It would still be a civil complaint. The SEEC is going to take their time. Time is of the essence. That is why,IMHO, MM shoul go to Superior CourtASAP. This similar to the Keeley/Testa’s bartender City Council Race where the court re-ordered a new election not once but twice.

  12. “Bridgeport absentees case bears similarities to 1986 investigation” Ken Dixon Sep. 22, 2019

    Daniel Roach, a top adviser to Mayor Joe Ganim, successfully fought his 1986 arrest on absentee ballot charges. Four others filed guilty pleas.

  13. On a related note. The SEEC agenda for today’s (Monday) “Special Telephonic Meeting” . . . meeting starts at 1:30 . . . “Public Session” on “Pending Complaints and Investigations” . . . then moves to Executive Session “In the Matter of a Referral from the Secretary of State.”


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