Update includes letter to State Elections Enforcement Commission: News release from Citizens Working For A Better Bridgeport:
On September 16, 2013 Political Action Committee Citizens Working for a Better Bridgeport (CW4BB) made the following announcement regarding the Bridgeport City Council Primary results in the 137th District. The Primary Election was held on September 10, 2013.
CW4BB is requesting that action be taken by the State Elections Enforcement Committee to verify the results of the City Council Primary in the 137th District of Bridgeport.
The endorsed candidates, Maria Valle and Aidee Nieves did, in fact, win the voting machine tally by a very comfortable margin. It was the combined effect of a disproportionately large absentee ballot count returned in favor of petitioning candidates, Lydia Martinez and Milta Feliciano, and the vote recount that was done on Friday, September 13, 2013 that allowed the petitioning candidates to prevail.
CW4BB is joining the fight for elections process reform in Bridgeport, and strongly encourages the voters in Bridgeport to join the fight as well.
For more information CONTACT:
Dave Walker: (202) 679-0257
Gabrielle Parisi: (203) 345-7691
Letter sent to Michael Brandi, executive director of the State Elections Enforcement Commission:
Citizens Working for a Better Bridgeport (PAC) is requesting that the State Elections Enforcement Committee immediately investigate the following several instances of suspected absentee voter violations which occurred in the Primary election on September 10, 2013 in the Bridgeport District 137 City Council election. All of the below appear to be in violation of applicable State of Connecticut voting laws under Sec.9-159.
1. 40-52 George Pipkin’s Way Bridgeport CT 06608 is a residential care home facility in District 137. Twenty-seven total absentee ballot applications were to this address. No supervised absentee voting is on record nor was it requested by the Democratic Registrar of Voters to the Town Clerk, pursuant to Sec9-159 which mandates an inquiry as to why there is such a large volume of absentee ballot requests from one location when twenty or more absentee ballots are requested.
3. Under Sec. 9-159q. Harborview Towers BHA Apartments had forty two absentee ballots cast without supervised absentee voting. Democratic Registrar of Voters was contacted by candidate Maria Valle when it was noted 42 absentee ballot applications had been sent to this address. Democratic Registrar of Voters Ayala stated the management of Harborview Towers must contact Ms. Ayala at the registrar’s office to request supervision. Marie Valle then proceeded to contact the State Elections Enforcement Office in Hartford CT on August 26, 2013 and leave a message with Mr. Oyola concerning the need for supervised voting. Mr. Oyala returned the call on September 3, 2013 and responded that the Bridgeport Town Clerk’s office is to call the management and find out why the volume of absentee ballot applications is so large coming from one address and then supervised voting can be arranged by management. It is apparent the Democratic Registrar of Voters did not follow Sec.9-159 requirements, and no required supervised voting took place. This is in direct violation of Sec.9-159q which mandates an inquiry as to why there is such a large volume of absentee ballot requests from one location when twenty or more absentee ballots are requested.
The above are just a few examples of known problems with the voting process in the City Council District 137 primary in Bridgeport. Lydia Martinez is one of the candidates on that ballot. Ms. Martinez has been sanctioned for violations of the Absentee Ballot election laws in the past and specifically in the 2009 elections, when she was a candidate at the Harborview Towers.
The voting machine total in District 137 tallied to approximately 54 % for the Line A candidates, Maria Valle and Aidee Nieves. The absentee ballots tallied to approximately 66 % for the Line B candidates, Lydia Martinez and Milta Feliciano. This is a highly unusual variance and seems to re-enforce the likelihood that voting irregularities occurred in connection with the Absentee Ballot process for this election.
Our primary concern is the integrity of the elections process and the credibility of the related results.
Citizens Working For a Better Bridgeport respectfully requests that the SEEC take action by
· Performing a comprehensive audit of all absentee ballots applied for and returned in the September 10, 2013 137th Bridgeport City Council primary election.
· Or rejecting all absentee ballots returned from 40-52 George Pipkin’s Way and Harborview Towers BHA Apartments in the September 10, 2013 137th Bridgeport City Council primary election.
· Or rejecting all absentee ballots returned in the September 10, 2013 137th Bridgeport City Council primary election.
Citizens Working for a Better Bridgeport (PAC)