Four Democrats Charged With Mishandling Absentee Ballots In Connecticut

Four Bridgeport, Connecticut residents face charges for allegedly mishandling absentee ballots during the 2019 mayoral primary. Chief State’s Attorney Patrick J. Griffin announced the charges, which include unlawful possession of absentee ballots and other election-related offenses.

The accused individuals, Alfredo Castillo, Wanda Geter-Pataky, Josephine Edmonds, and Nilsa Heredia, are all connected to Democratic campaigns. Geter-Pataky is the deputy head of the city’s Democratic Town Committee, Castillo is a city councilman who supported Mayor Joe Ganim, and both Heredia and Edmonds worked on Democratic mayoral campaigns.

The investigation by the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) led to these charges. It revealed various infractions, such as misrepresenting eligibility requirements for absentee voting and failing to maintain absentee ballot distribution lists. Additionally, some individuals were charged with tampering with witnesses.

Released on their own recognizance, the accused are scheduled to appear in court on June 24. The arrests followed a nearly year-long investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice, which took over the case after the SEEC’s civil probe.

Chief State’s Attorney Griffin stressed the importance of maintaining election integrity, stating, “The integrity of our voting process is vital to our democracy. These prosecutions aim to deter future tampering with election results in Connecticut.”

Mayor Joseph Ganim, commenting on the situation, emphasized the need for fair elections and stated that the courts would resolve these matters. He reiterated his commitment to maintaining voters’ rights and ensuring the integrity of the election process.

As the case progresses, it underscores the ongoing issues related to election security and the importance of strict adherence to voting laws to uphold democratic principles.