Bridgeport Democrats Never Learn — Connecticut Voters Deserve Better

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Unfortunately, a judge was once again forced to overturn the results of the Bridgeport Democratic primary due to blatant voter fraud engaged in by Democrat officials. This is not the first time this has happened in Bridgeport. In 2017, the Connecticut Supreme Court had to intervene in a Bridgeport Democrat City Council Primary, ordering a 3rd primary to be held.  In 2022, the Democrat primary for state representative was thrown out by a Judge and rerun. And, lest we forget, the Stamford Democrat Chair was convicted of 14 counts of Absentee Ballot fraud for his actions in the 2015 Stamford municipal elections.

In a move that has left many in Connecticut stunned, the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee (DTC) chose to “overwhelmingly” re-elect Wanda Geter-Pataky as Vice Chair. But, for those who understand the decades of corrupt Democrat leadership in Bridgeport, the vote results are unsurprising. The March 11th vote comes after Wanda Geter-Pataky made national news for being caught on camera illegally stuffing ballot drop boxes in Bridgeport.  When questioned at the trial about her involvement in the absentee ballot scam, Geter-Pataky took the “fifth,” even to such innocuous questions as to where her desk was in city hall.

This was not the first time Wanda Geter-Pataky engaged in illegal absentee ballot activities. In 2019, he illegal absentee ballot actions resulted in the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) referring her for criminal prosecution.

Once again, Wanda is the subject of multiple complaints to SEEC, was the primary cause for the court to order a new primary and was so unconcerned about any punishment that she again engaged in this criminal activity while awaiting criminal prosecution for her previous criminal absentee ballot activities.

The decision by the Bridgeport DTC to re-elect Geter-Pataky as Vice-Chair of the Democrat Party, despite proof that she engaged in voter fraud, is deeply troubling. Bridgeport Democrats are not just excusing but rewarding a woman who tried to rig an election in plain sight.  It is clear that certain leaders within the Connecticut Democratic Party are willing to encourage illegal practices that are antithetical to the American election system.

As Chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party, I would encourage all Connecticut voters to take notice of what has happened – and what is still happening – in Bridgeport. This isn’t an isolated incident; it’s a symptom of something deeper in the Bridgeport Democrat establishment. And voters on both sides of the political aisle should reject their efforts to corrupt our democratic process.

Connecticut Democrats have even called on the Bridgeport DTC to modernize their party and their rules. But, as evidenced by Monday’s vote to re-elect Geter-Pataky, the Bridgeport DTC is simply unwilling to change – they not only encourage election cheating, but they also reward those who engage in the cheating.

I believe this specific situation starts with accountability. For far too long, allegations of voter fraud have not been taken seriously in the state of Connecticut. People who choose to break our laws and undermine our elections should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, including those in Bridgeport who were found in court to have broken our laws.

As I speak to voters around our state, I hear their concerns about our election system. How can anyone feel that their vote will be securely counted when they see Bridgeport DTC Vice Chair Wanda Geter-Pataky stuffing hundreds of ballots into a drop box and the Bridgeport DTC rewarding her for her illegal acts, by continuing to have her serve in a leadership position? Connecticut voters deserve better.

As I’ve said, the solution to this is election reform.  The most critical thing that must be done immediately is to eliminate ballot drop boxes, which are no longer necessary after COVID and which just invite fraud and illegal actions. Democrat leaders in the General Assembly must join with Republicans and impose mandatory minimum jail time for those who violate voters’ trust by trying to rig elections, provide better training for our election officials, who do yeoman’s work but are overwhelmed, particularly in our smaller towns, and make it clear that our elected officials will not tolerate any attempts to undermine our electoral process. 

Recently, State Representative Matt Blumenthal (D- Stamford), Chairman of the Government Affairs and Elections Committee of the General Assembly, proposed legislation to protect our poll workers from threats and violence for doing their civic duty to ensure our elections are run fairly.  I support Representative Blumenthal’s actions to protect these men and women of our communities, who give their time to ensure our elections are properly conducted. I call on Representative Blumenthal to join me in protecting our election process. As Chairman, he can immediately ensure that our election processes are the most secure and safe in the country.  Our poll workers and our election process must be protected.

Wanda Geter-Pataky’s re-election is a glaring example of the challenges that we face in ensuring election integrity.  But I continue to believe that this issue transcends partisan politics. We have a presidential primary in less than a month and a general election in November. I ask that all Connecticut voters, regardless of their political leanings or affiliation, join together and call on our elected leaders to enact legislation to protect our election processes from those exploiting it for their own gain. 

Connecticut and Connecticut voters deserve nothing less than the most secure elections in the country.


Ben Proto is Chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party