Three State House Candidates Request Supervised Balloting, Charge Opponent Conflict

Three of five candidates appearing on the ballot in Tuesday’s State House special election are calling on elections officials to conduct supervised balloting in mostly senior citizen buildings requesting a high rate of absentee ballots. Kate Rivera, Hector Diaz and Josh Parrow are also charging a conflict of interest between Democratic Registrar Sandi Ayala and her candidate daughter Christina Ayala who works in the Registrar’s Office.

Elections officials, in this case the local registrar’s office, can conduct supervised balloting when a flurry of absentee ballot activity takes place in multi-dwelling buildings such as senior housing facilities. The state legal standard is generally more than 20 requests for ballots to place a check on possible abuse. Under supervised balloting elections officials set a time and place for residents of the respective building to fill out the ballot.

Antonio Felipe is the endorsed Democrat who’ll appear on the top line. Parrow is the endorsed Republican. Rivera, Diaz and Ayala have petitioned onto the ballot. Felipe and Rivera both qualified for public campaign money that will avail each to spend $20,000 in the final days of the race to fill the 130th State Assembly seat of Ezequiel Santiago who died in March.

The district covers Downtown, South End, and portions of the West End and East Side. District wide about 500 requests for absentee ballots have been made.

It will be difficult for elections officials to conduct supervised balloting before the Tuesday vote given the time constraint. In addition, many voters in those senior buildings have already filled out their ballot and mailed it. The ballots are processed by the Town Clerk’s Office, but tabulated by the Registrar’s Office when the polls close.

The three candidates issued the request to Democratic Registrar Sandi Ayala, Republican Registrar Linda Grace, Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill and State Elections Enforcement Commission Chairman Michael Brandi.

Joint request:

In the spirit of transparency and clean elections candidates Kate Rivera, Josh Parrow, and Hector Diaz request that the following addresses have supervised balloting effective immediately. We are requesting for supervised balloting in five locations for the Special Election on Tuesday, May 7th 2019 due to suspicion of a not only a conflict of interest, but general absentee ballot abuse.

Though we respect the work of the Bridgeport Registrar of Voters, it is a clear conflict of interest to have the Democratic Registrar directly involved in the election given the family relationship to one of the candidates and her status as a City of Bridgeport Registrar of Voters employee in this Special Election on Tuesday, May 7th.

Our residents have been and will continue to be disenfranchised by this decades-long, pervasive abuse of the absentee ballot system. We are truly undermining the purpose of absentee ballots: to ensure that those who are ill, disabled, out-of-town on the day of the election, serving in the armed forces, or even working at the polls on that day can have the opportunity to have their voice heard by casting an absentee ballot.

The Kate Rivera for Bridgeport campaign is demanding supervised balloting at the following identified locations with twenty or more absentee ballot applications:
376 East Washington Avenue, Bridgeport, CT.
285 Maplewood Avenue, Bridgeport, CT.
585 Norman Street, Bridgeport, CT.
140 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, CT.
1241 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT.
1450 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT.
210 Washington Ave, Bridgeport, CT.

The following are approaching 20:
695 Park Avenue
55 George Pipkin Way
393 Laurel Avenue

We respectfully ask for a clean, transparent and expedient process to ensure that democracy will prevail in this Special Election. We trust that as public servants you will serve the public and uphold the highest standard in our election process.

Ayala, Grace joint Registrar’s Office response to Kate Rivera:



  1. They are very smart asking for this ESPECIALLY since the recent past has clearly indicated that the system has been cheated many times.
    I would add this thought without disparaging any candidate although much could be said…
    I am referring to the choices between Democrats and Republicans. If I keep going to a restaurant and continually get a lousy meal….. but I keep going to that restaurant, then I will continue to get a lousy meal.
    It’s time for new blood in this race and I don’t see any good democratic plasma here!!

  2. I cannot speak for all of these but 285 Maplewood & 585 Norman are hotbeds for Absentee Ballot abuse.
    Check out the names of the circulator on the application. These residents have historically been disenfranchised and people who work inside have prevented most outsiders into the buildings.

  3. What started out as clean elections, candidates going into the building to speak with the voters, has morphed into political operatives doing the dirty work for candidates by directly going door to door and getting applications.
    And quite often they are office holders themselves who are not running in a given election.
    Will the AB’s outpolls the in person count?
    Based on the turnout thus far, it appears to be so.
    And the “helpless” Secretary of State will Liam there is nothing she can do. BS.

  4. I want to make it clear , That my concern isn’t with Sandi or Christina Ayala, I’ve known both of them for a lifetime and have respect and love for both, I don’t believe either would carry out any election related malfeasance in this Special election.
    That being said, I do believe that the appearance of wrong doing lends itself to voter apathy and we should do anything that limits the amount of interference from “Politicians” during the the AB process. Another note
    at the end of the day a Legislators position should be to make and enforce laws that contribute to the well being of their Districts and to find the Dollars within the Budget to fund them. I find it disturbing as you should also, that the “Great ” minds behind certain Candidates along with those Candidates were willing to RISK upwards of $100,000 dollars of Public Dollars to spend “wastefully” on the last week, week and half, of this “SPECIAL” election.
    $100,000 dollars for a district race where there are families deciding whether to pay their heat or or a light bill, between buying a coat or shoes.
    I simply can’t fathom how you would be expected to fight AGAINST wasteful spending, when even before being elected you CHOSE to risk wasting more than $100,000 of the Public’s money, Those of you who believe it takes more than $2500 or $3000 to win this election your sadly mistaken, the beauty of my comments is that When I was a Legislator and this was being studied I was an adamant opponent to the Public’s financing of Elections, I still feel the same. If the State were to award the City $100,000 to use within a week could you imagine the benefit to our Citizens, This and many other reasons are why

  5. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of Bpt. politics knows that the DTC’s game plan always includes an over reliance on AB’s – particularly in low turnout elections. This is how they win. In this particular election the DTC also benefits from 3 candidates splitting the anti DTC vote. Given this, I would suggest that Hector Diaz and Josh Parrow throw their support behind Kate Rivera. I know this is a big ask but Kate has demonstrated that she has the best chance of beating the DTC endorsed candidate and to my way of thinking that is the most important thing.

    1. John, why not throw the Support to the most QUALIFIED of the Candidates? The district is traditionally a Puerto Rican District as far back as Lugo, Why not Support 1 of the 2 Puerto Ricans running, I’ve proven myself to be able to work with everyone yet not to look up to or down at anyone, straight eye to eye. While Puerto Ricans are the majority of this district wouldn’t it serve in the best interest of the Comunity to have a Puerto Rican representing it, you know there are other parts of the City that this wouldn’t even be a part of the conversation, the reason you feel the way you do is because the Puerto Rican “leaders” we have now have allowed others to dictate whats best for their respective areas. Would Kate have been accepted had she run with her maiden name?

      1. Hector my friend, my biggest concern is keeping the district out of the control of the DTC. By becoming the first candidate to qualify for public financing Kate has demonstrated that she is the strongest anti DTC candidate. When the DTC wins we all lose.

  6. Hector
    That is pretty astute of you. I guess the same rule applies to the city. The Town Clerk or the City Clerk goes to a Puerto Rican and the othervon to an African American.
    And the leaves the Mayor to the whites.
    How’s that worked out for you???

    1. Thanks Bob, after Margaret Morton got elected to the State Senate the rules changed to certain elected position were divided up between whites, blacks and Hispanics with whites always getting the positions with power and a few token positions to blacks and Hispanics especially if that had a big family. It has never been about the best candidate.

  7. Hector I am amazed at some of your comments and in this day and age I would not even touch this subject if I was not married for over 2 decades to a “puerto rican” who’s entire family is from the Aguasbuenas and Rio Piedras area. Are you saying that a Puerto Rican would be the best candidate or that YOU are the best Puerto Rican running for the seat? It seems that this is one of the problems if folks vote for ethnicity rather than which candidates would do the job better.
    I think in today’s times, in Bridgeport, it’s time to vote for the other party instead if the same old same old.

  8. Ron my father was in part a reason for my getting into politics, along with the Pride, Civic Duty expressed by all the members of my family here in Bridgeport and abroad. Since my Grandfather arrived in 1942 the Diaz family name has always been Associated with leadership, respect, loyalty etc.. My father as Town Clerk never got involved in my Campaigns and anyone present at the time could attest to that. It was my mother Brigida Diaz (Vicky) who worked campaigns since Adam Clayton Powell Senior that was the political Power in my First Campaign in fact Raul Lafitte was my first Campaign Manager.
    Rich your comment is in tune with what I would expect from someone who would support “the other party” “in this day and age”…

    1. Hector, that’s my point, both your mother and father were well respected and like and you got a extra bounce without you doing anything that gave you the edge and privilege over others.

      Why would you say something like this, “Would Kate have been accepted had she run with her maiden name?” That’s sexist, you are saying that Kate or any other woman gets help by using and keeping their mates name and that gives them an advantage. It’s ok for you to have an advantage with your last name but not Kate or any other woman.

      1. Ron My point about her using her maiden name isn’t sexist. It’s her supporters attempt to use an entire ethnicity to win acceptance from people who would normally not entertain them. I’m I supposed to co-sign by not voicing my concern. Names and how people are addressed has ALWAYS been an touchy issue with me, I’m sure you’ve witnessed my displeasure in the past with labels and descriptions. How would you feel if someone you knew was not African American purported to be so during an election in a mostly African American District?

        1. Hector, think about what you are saying, women must change their last after they are no longer with their mate. So Hector does woman have to change the last name of their children? Do you really think women keep their ex last name to run for political office?

          1. In this instance I believe its being used as a political crutch to getting Votes based on name in a ethnic district.

        2. If Kate Rivera used her maiden name, even I would not know who she was on election day. I consider Kate a friend. This whole name thing is pretty stupid. Who would change their name to something not even your friends recognize you as just before an election?? In addition, Kates skin color nor her last name reflect all the hard work she has done for the Black/Brown community in Bridgeport and across the state. I can actually say that I have watched her for years become an aggressive, well respected advocate for the Black/Brown Community and have seen her do more for the community than elected officials in office claim to do. I think it’s time to drop the name and skin color issue and take a look at Kate’s resume. She truly is amazing and has done work that no current candidate can compare to. I agree that in order to beat the DTC support should be put behind Kate, this is no time for ego’s, this is the chance to get a very trust worthy, intelligent, educated, strong minded and community oriented leader in office. There is no one running that can compare to her accomplishments and even come close to her resume.

    2. Great answer Mr. Diaz. Deflect with an obscure comment. I dare say that if someone said “don’t vote for a Puerto Rican or don’t vote for a black or Asian candidate” the retort would be quite different. I will repeat what I have been saying: it’s time for a change and I mean that to city counsel mostly. I knew Mr. Santiago and he was a gentleman as I have written here when he passed. I don’t see any democrats running for this seat that bring anything new to the table
      In fact, many, many negative things and circumstances could be said about some of them and anyone who actually follows Bridgeport politics knows what these issues are. Unfortunately, because people are told to vote a certain way, “just because” is the reason the city is in such disrepair and laughed at by the rest of the state. So I again say: time for a change. ……….Salud!!

      1. Rich If the community they were seeking to represent were either Asian or Puerto Rican no one would say anything, how often have you witnessed an Anglo American campaigning to Represent an Asian Community and would it be acceptable if they were at some point married to an Asian?

      1. Hector, you asked me this, “How would you feel if someone you knew was not African American purported to be so during an election in a mostly African American District?” Your reply, “Rachel Dolezal the former head of Spokane, Washington’s, NAACP,” I’m sorry but what elected office did Rachel Dolezal have? NONE.

      1. Yes, Hector is serious. His entire argument seems to be that only a Hispanic can serve a predominantly Hispanic District. Apparently, if you utilize your married name instead of your maiden name, you are perpetuating some type of deceit and fraud.

        Hector is intelligent and articulate, therefore he is capable of better than the debate on utilizing the CEP grant when legally qualifying, and asserting that a candidate is being unethical for utilizing their legal last name.

  9. Ron I spoke my mind and that of the people who’ve questioned both the Dollars being spent and yes all the Candidates ethnicity, I asked a question and made a comment the fact that it continues is not my fault but those who continue to harp on it , you yourself have not let it die by asking questions of me, as long as people ask I’ll answer.
    Vote ector A. Diaz line 1D Tuesday may 7th

  10. We only have one Puerto Rican on our State Delegation with the election of any of the Candidates but Christina or I (Hector A. Diaz), that doesn’t change , Ron if this was the Case for an African American, you wouldn’t think it was worthy of letting your Community know that? I’ve read your post and know you to be a proud “Black” man who wouldn’t allow the Fire Department Keep you or yours off the Job , now you are going to criticize me for Standing up for mine?

    1. Hector why don’t you run for mayor instead of supporting white mayors in Bridgeport, I’ve never heard you ever speak out against Joe Ganim and Mario Testa, two white men who control the power to hire and promote Puerto Ricans. As May 3, 2019 there are NO Puerto Ricans running for mayor, why?

  11. Are you telling me Stalworths not Puerto Rican? Ron seriously, The answer to that is a long and tedious one. I do believe that if Judge Carmen Lopez ran she’d win and most probably would be the best Mayor this City has ever seen. As far as me running why not, Help get me elected now and we’ll see what follows.

  12. Hector, again where is the Puerto Rican candidates for mayor? Bridgeport has always had white mayors and in this up and coming election we have two Black candidates and a white incumbent mayor running but no Puerto Ricans, why? Judge Carmen Lopez would be my candidate for mayor but she’s not going to run so now what? Hector, you are a Bridgeport Police Commissioner but I see or read anything in your campaign saying that you are on the Police Commission


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