Court doesn’t rule on Bridgeport primary, allows election
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Connecticut Supreme Court put off a ruling Monday on whether to overturn the results of Bridgeport’s Democratic primary for mayor, allowing the general election to move forward.
Justices heard arguments on whether absentee ballot irregularities affected the Sept. 10 primary and discussed the case in private. But Chief Justice Richard Robinson later announced the court would not be ruling before the general election on Tuesday because the justices were not ready to make an overall judgment.
Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim narrowly defeated state Sen. Marilyn Moore by 270 votes in the Sept. 10 primary. Moore won more votes at the polls, but Ganim had a more than 3-to-1 edge in absentee ballot votes.
Hearst Connecticut Media reported problems with the primary, including absentee ballots submitted by people not registered as Democrats and some absentee voters who claimed they were pressured to vote for Ganim. A lawsuit was later filed by three Bridgeport residents, who appealed to the Supreme Court after a lower court judge last week rejected their challenge to the primary results.
Attorney Prerna Rao said Monday’s ruling was at least a partial victory for her clients.
“We always acknowledged that it was going to be an uphill battle, coming in from the beginning,” Rao told reporters. “The fact is that they’re actually going to be considering some of what we said today.”
Deputy City Attorney John Bohannon Jr. said he was pleased the city’s election on Tuesday “is proceeding as planned.”
Superior Court Judge Barry Stevens, who presided over a month-long trial, has said the Bridgeport residents succeeded in identifying “very serious election law violations,” but did not prove those violations changed the outcome of the primary.
The State Elections Enforcement Commission also has been investigating possible absentee ballot irregularities.
Moore, meanwhile, is putting herself forward as a write-in candidate for Tuesday’s election, along with several other write-ins and Republican John Rodriguez.