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No Checks And Balances For Campaign Checkers

October 31st, 2015 · 33 Comments · City Politics, News and Events

From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

The Secretary of the State’s Office has turned down a request from Mary-Jane Foster’s campaign to proactively send observers to the polls for Tuesday’s heated mayoral showdown with  Joseph Ganim.

“We don’t have the authority to intervene where there is no inappropriate activity,” Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said by phone. “We need evidence something has happened to do anything.”

The request from Foster’s side came because state statutes hinder her and other petition candidates from sending so-called unofficial checkers to monitor the polls for potential fraud. These campaign loyalists can also alert campaigns to motivate supporters who are not turning out.

Under state law, major party candidates like Ganim, who beat Foster and Mayor Bill Finch in the Sept. 16 Democratic primary, can use checkers. Petition candidates must be part of a slate of at least three people.

Foster is running by herself as an independent Democrat. The fact that she has been endorsed by Finch and inherited some of his political infrastructure has elevated her profile and prospects of winning over those of the average minor candidate.

Foster’s campaign manager, Tom Swan, appealed to Merrill after Bridgeport Democratic Registrar Santa Ayala, who has been involved in some high-profile voting controversies, denied Foster’s list of poll checkers.

Ayala cited state statutes.

“We think this is a clear example of how she’s doing everything in her power to help Ganim,” said Swan in an interview, arguing that Ayala has the flexibility to allow checkers.

Full story here.


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33 Comments so far ↓

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    “[Foster] is not even a major party candidate.” ‘Nuff said? Allied with the machine but not a major party candidate. Even with at least half the machine’s electoral apparatus behind her she is still a petitioning candidate. This is really a vanity run, nothing more. Ms. Foster has managed to fool a small group of people all the time, including the shills who regularly post negative comments about Rick Torres.

    Vote for the future of the people of the city of Bridgeport, ROW B, on November 3rd.

  • Steven Auerbach

    Row G is all people need to know.

  • George Boland

    Joe Ganim’s response: “who cares about Mary-Jane Foster?” tells the story of his personal reformation perfectly. His complete indifference to the few thousand MJF/Finch voters who want to insure a credible voting process is the start of his closed and secretive government. If he wants transparency he’d say: “send everyone you’ve got, we have nothing to hide–we want to be viewed as legitimate.”

    • Up On Bridgeport

      “Who cares?” he wrote. “(Foster) is not even a major party candidate.”

      Please attribute the correct quote if you are going to quote.

      • George Boland

        Up On Bpt, come on, it’s the same thing.

        • Up On Bridgeport

          George-The form and function of having your own checkers has nothing to do with insuring a credible voting process. A checker is a fancy name for a soft sheet worker to see if your identified votes are coming out.

          Trying to twist this issue makes you a Chubby Checker.

          • Lisa Parziale

            You’re right, UOB.

          • Phil Smith

            Actually, they can (and often do) serve both purposes.

          • Up On Bridgeport

            Phil–that’s correct but not under the circumstances for MJF’s line status.

            In an election, each Registrar of Voters may appoint not more than four electors enrolled in such Registrar’s of Voters party to serve as unofficial checkers. Each group of three or more candidates whose names appear in a single row on the voting tabulator ballot, but who are not entitled to unofficial checkers under the first provision, may designate no more than two electors to serve as unofficial checkers. If the Registrar of Voters has authorized split shifts for unofficial checkers, the foregoing numbers would apply to each shift separately. (§9-235)

    • Lisa Parziale

      John, this matter must be pursued! Accommodating people who must use the Absentee process is tainted by this abuse because in some cases it becomes a matter of survival and other candidates do the same. It’s known I’m supporting Joe Ganim, but I admire your dad and he doesn’t deserve to be at a disadvantage from any other candidate running for this office.

      • Andrew C Fardy

        Lisa, I know this was a good time to get a dig in on MJF but why are you automatically assuming the use of the name Mary means it’s MJF? Come on Lisa, you know better than that.

        • Lisa Parziale

          Andy, I just said it should be pursued. I may be a little disappointed with MJF, but I know she would never sanction illegal practices.

      • Park City too

        It is very well understood absentee ballots are suspect. The ‘help’ in filling them out is obvious. I would bet ballots have been thrown out when it is seen it is filled out for an opposing party. In some buildings, housing elderly or infirm residents, there is a watchdog person or group that will not let their residents have forums with candidates not in the closed loop, Ganim and Foster will bring in the absentees, Torres will have fewer of them. When you need to provide a license to vote in a polling location, then who is verifying the process of absentee ballot help, when it is political friends and campaigns providing the ‘service?’

    • Andrew C Fardy

      Torres John and Rick, you are both full of shit and should be ashamed of yourselves for trying to perpetuate this fraud. That’s what it is, FRAUD. You two fucksters got this semi-literate man to say someone named Mary filled out his AB. Now I know you showed him pictures of MJF and if you did not show him photos this is a bigger FRAUD than I first thought. Desperate moments cause otherwise good men to do desperate things. That’s the Torres clan.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Vote Row B for the e of the city of Bridgeport, row G if you don’t give a shit.

  • Claude Balls

    Of course she isn’t going to help out. Adam Wood threw her under the bus. He is the lead weight that sank Finch and Finch is the lead weight that will sink Foster Nov. 3rd. I’m surprised Brett Border didn’t craft a clever response for Mary-Jane in the article, maybe blame it on “red tape” or something like that.

  • Rick Torres

    Foster wants monitors? Seriously? The video our campaign shot yesterday seems to implicate Mary-Jane in her own voter fraud. By the way, that video should be posted, Lennie. It is extremely relevant.

    www .facebook.com/CouncilmanEnriqueTorres/videos/vb.1386117188299606/1669523316625657/?type=2&theater&notif_t=video_comment

  • Andrew C Fardy

    What other behind-your-back stuff is the Torres clan planning for election day? Their antics show the need for monitors. It is my hope in addition to losing the mayoral election, Rick loses the council campaign also.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      Go see an ophthalmologist. You read into it what you wanted to. The woman “assisting” with the AB gave her name as Mary, not amaryllis-Jane. Nowhere is it implied the man interviewed identified Ms. Foster as the woman in question. It is clearly stated in unequivocal language the woman wrote Ms. Foster’s surname on the ballot.

      Get thee to an eye doctor, and a psychiatrist. You are in desperate need of clonazepam, in 500-milligram dosage twice a day.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    Rick, c’mon now, that video is embarrassing, you’re better than this. It’s totally unbelievable, in one sentence the gentleman says he can hardly see anything, then later he says he saw Mary-Jane was circled as his vote??? And the prompting of answers from off camera is comical. Do yourself a favor and take this down, geez.

  • John Torres

    Harvey–if I may. The gentlemen had a stroke. He can see, just not very well. That ballot has a lot of information on it. It’s not that he couldn’t have done it, it’s just that with a little assistance it would go a lot faster. See what I’m getting at? Let me give another example. Many people use wheelchairs who can actually walk. But it’s not whether or not they can walk that is the operative variable. It is whether or not the utilization of a TOOL makes something EASIER. In this case, this gentlemen believed this woman to be such an instrument of increased ease.

    The victim blaming that is going on on this blog and elsewhere, while certainly remaining the vast minority of responses to it, is shocking. I was the interviewer. What answer did I prompt? The only one I can sort of give you is my question of “Why do you think this is important.” That is a bit leading, but I had nothing to do with his response. So I will pose a similar question to you. “Harvey, why do you think this is not important?”

    Andrew Fardy, I never said Mary-Jane did anything illegal. But she has aligned herself with the wrong people. People willing to deceive the elderly to get her across the finish line. I think you guys are the blind ones.

    Oh, and lastly, did you know they call Lydia Martinez the “absentee Ballot Queen?” Weird, I didn’t even know that until today. This man certainly didn’t know that. Yet she was also mentioned. Hmmm. Lennie, I can’t believe you’re not giving this it’s own post.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    You have been around this type of environment all day and you say MJF is guilty by being associated with Finch holdovers. That is bullshit and you know it. If you just heard Lydia Martinez’s name, you must have been in a coma for the past few elections. The Torres people are playing dirty but I guess when you are desperate you will do anything. Why should Lennie post a fraudulent video interview?

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      Torres is the only candidate not stooping to the dirty politics as usual. Your reaction is a rather good indication there’s something to this. No matter how hard you try, no one who has seen the video will think Mary-Jane Foster was filling out ABs. The biggest mistake you’re making is the belief everyone is as dumb as you are.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    The Torres camp got called on that video and you don’t like it? Tough. Try as you may, you won’t get away with this dirty attempt to smear MJF. Maybe it’s time for you to get a tattoo like Rick only yours could be on your forehead and say DUMB ASS.

    • Park City too

      I was unaware of the video until it came out, just like the rest of us, and have not paid much attention to it. Though I have also been involved in things on film for decades, my eyes say the man is telling the truth as he sees it.

  • Claude Balls

    Makes sense Adam Wood puts the final nail in Mary-Jane’s coffin.

  • Park City too

    I remember an election not long ago, where it was said a couple voting booths were left in a closet, uncounted. Things can and do happen to the votes themselves. Unfortunate, but the votes are where the rubber meets the road and they can be manipulated by any party with access to them in any way. Whether through manipulation of absentee ballots, hardcopy votes at polling locations, or even on a much more sophisticated level, which does not happen in Bridgeport, through possible computer hacking of the electronic voting record in larger elections. Sounds crazy, but it is a software system and has also been proven breakable. Vote for whom you wish and good luck. I hope the next Mayor can help bring harmony and progress to Bridgeport. For the people.

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