Unanimous: Connecticut Supreme Court Affirms Results Of Ganim Primary Win

Seated, L to R: Justice Richard N. Palmer, Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson, Justice Andrew J. McDonald.
Standing, L to R: Senior Justice Christine S. Vertefeuille, Justice Maria Araujo Kahn, Justice Gregory T. D’Auria Justice Raheem L. Mullins and Justice Steven D. Ecker

The Connecticut Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the decision by Superior Court Judge Barry Stevens that rejected a lawsuit contesting the results of the September 10 Democratic primary in which Mayor Joe Ganim defeated State Senator Marilyn Moore by 270 votes. See decision here.

The 7-0 ruling was written by Chief Justice Richard Robinson.

From the decision:

We further conclude that the trial court properly found that, under this standard, the plaintiffs had failed to establish that the reliability of the result of the primary election is seriously in doubt. Indeed, they have not expressly challenged any of the court’s factual findings or legal conclusions as to which absentee ballots should have been counted, and they have not pointed to any evidence that would compel a finding that there is a serious risk that Moore or any of the other candidates who lost in the primary election would have won in the absence of the improprieties in the handling of the absentee ballots. Accordingly, we conclude that the trial court correctly determined that the plaintiffs failed to establish that they were entitled to an order directing a new special primary election. The judgment is affirmed.

The lawsuit was brought by Bridgeport Generation Now Votes whose leadership supported Moore for mayor. Moore won at the polls, but lost via absentee ballots. The plaintiffs alleged absentee ballot violations altered the outcome of the vote, including operatives filling out ballots on behalf of voters.

Judge Barry Stevens affirmed.

Deputy City Attorney John Bohannon countered no, that much of the plaintiffs assertions centered on absentee ballot applications. It’s legal to help a voter fill out an application. Bohannon emphasized that the plaintiffs did not come close to finding 270 reasons that would alter the results.

Stevens, although citing some irregularities, agreed. The plaintiffs appealed.

Deputy City Attorney John Bohannon. CT Post photo.

It was an odd complaint in that not one Democratic candidate in the primary was a plaintiff in the case, including Moore, something Bohannon noted on many occasions in verbal and written arguments. The Supremes agreed, and addressed it in the decision:

Moreover, we find it unlikely that the legislature intended to create the situation in which, after every primary election, thousands of potential plaintiffs would have standing to seek a new primary based on the rulings of an election official that did not personally affect them. It is more likely that the legislature intended that the proper party to seek that particular form of relief would be a losing candidate who could establish that the improper ruling of an election official had rendered the results unreliable.

Statement from Ganim:

“I’m pleased to hear of the Supreme Court’s unanimous final decision that reaffirms the trial court decision and the validity of the election. I thank the Court for their time took to review this case. I would be remiss if I didn’t express my appreciation again for the continued and overwhelming support that I received from the voters.”

Moore had a backup plan in mind if she lost the primary, but her campaign failed to secure the necessary signatures to appear on the Working Families Party line in November. Without a ballot spot, Moore waged a write-in campaign. She was defeated by Ganim by 2 to 1.

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18 comments

    1. Very interesting Why would Generation Now go through all this knowing it couldn’t win but said nothing about the WFP mishap by not get enough signatures.I guess it was done to stop our seniors from voting in the general election by absentee ballots well more people voted by absentee ballots in the general election then in the primary.

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      1. Ernest Newton.
        That simply is not true. Just because you keep repeating that GanimDTC will never make it true. I’ll just call you out and every time you try it and anyone who tries that line. Congratulation on your CC victory.

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      2. If 30% or more of the voting public are unaffiliated with any party and if that prohibits them from voting in a primary, but they still have a right and responsibility to vote in a General Election, would you not expect more AB votes to be used in a General Election? Perhaps you can explain the point you were making above in a context. What is illogical? Time will tell.

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  1. Pick that absolute slowest news day you can possibly choose to drop this news. I got nothing… Nothing hear to see folks, you can all run along home now…

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  2. C’mon Ernie, that lawsuit had absolutely nothing to do with stopping seniors from voting and everyone knows that as well as you. You complain that seniors was being denied the right to vote yet nothing about the Black community being marginalized by the continued abuse of the ABSENTEE Ballot system. YOU my friend are a good DTC MEMBER and Mayor Ganim and Mario should be very proud of your mediocrity as the Moses of your people. Shame on you for that post.

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  3. My brother Don
    You know if the DTC or Joe or Mario did what Generation Now did Everyone on this Blog that dislike Mario joe and the DTC would be crying 😢. You may disagree with me because you supported the other candidate.
    It’s how I feel. Have a great 👍 holiday.

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  4. It’s not even close…
    The U.S. Treasury market is the largest capital market in world history. It’s the flipside of our huge $22T debt.
    Here’s the irony:
    The world is awash in dollars but too few of them are here.
    Wouldn’t it be great if Bridgeport became the epicenter of the dollar’s return? A China/U.S trade deal seems dead but those dollars are still floating around. Imagine making money while reducing our trade deficit. There’s a spot on the map for that!
    This job would only exit in Bridgeport, Stratford and Trumbull because that’s the way the owner wants it. Newcomers might flock here and Bridgeport would acquire an aura to replace its stigma.
    The BRBC might become the delivery system and every civic org would be unleashed to train its members in this new income-producing method. Think battle of the non-profits!
    Start here: http://www.makersrow.com

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  5. Don, I don’t know what the hell Ernie is saying, he’s still kissing up to Joe Ganim and Mario Testsa. Ernie has absolutely no interest in preventing absentee ballots fraud and voter suppression that hurts everybody but especially black voters. What has Ernie done to show leadership on this issue, he’s done nothing.

    Ernie, try reading what Judge Stevens wrote at the end of his decision.

    BETH LAZAR, ET AL.
    V.
    JOSEPH P. GANIM
    OCTOBER 31, 2019

    Although, the evidence in this case was insufficient for a new primary election to ordered, the evidence nevertheless presented serious issues warranting legislative consideration. Most importantly ,consideration is warranted (as well as the absentee ballots themselves) should be limited solely to election officials, electors, and statutorily designated individuals (identified to assist electors), and in turn whether individuals working for absentee ballots. Legislative consideration may also be warranted to allow electors to acquire applications for absentee ballots through the mail, allow any elector to vote by absentee ballots (without limitations or conditions), and to allow earlier voting by absentee ballot.

    SREVENS, J. PRESIDING JUDGE CIVIL

    http://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/DocumentInquiry/DocumentInquiry.aspx?DocumentNo=18050258#page=21

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    1. My Good brother
      You know who’s responsible it is to address Absentee ballot fraud. It’s not my job as a Councilman. Ron the point I was trying to make Why did Generation Now only target Blacks and brown seniors in Bridgeport? That’s my point.

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  6. Ernie, you have serve Connecticut as a State Senator, a State Representative, you were the first black to be the Common Council President and you are the longest serving elected official I’m Bridgeport but you choose to major in minor issues. You have no desire push for voter rights for every voter especially black voters by fighting absentee voting fraud, voter suppression, to make it easier for all voters to have their vote count. No, not you Ernie, you just want to point blame on Gen Now a brand new organization for the voting problems in Bridgeport and in the State, my brother, I expected more from you than throwing stones at Grn Now plus you have absolutely no proof about Gen Now, sad.

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  7. I don’t know, Jim… I smell Short Circuit. I think that the whole state needs updated political wiring/circuitry…
    We’re in 19th-Century political mode in this state… Ditto for economic development, public school financing, transportation, etc….

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