State Rep. Chris Caruso has taken his allegations of voter fraud and abuse to court.
Standing on the steps of the Fairfield County Courthouse in Bridgeport, Caruso said Wednesday he petitioned the court to review the entire Democratic primary election, including the results. Here’s the lawsuit.
On Sept. 11 Caruso, a mayoral candidate in Bridgeport, lost the Democratic primary to Sen. Bill Finch by about 250 votes, but Caruso never conceded the race saying it was not a fair election. “To concede means to accept,” and by filing the lawsuit “I’m petitioning the court to review the election,” he said.
Caruso refused to answer questions Wednesday about whether he would run in the November election as an independent if he failed to win the lawsuit. He said he would make a decision about his political future at the conclusion of court proceedings, which could take several weeks, perhaps months.
Finch’s campaign spokesman, Tyrone McClain, said in a news release that “It is unfortunate that Caruso is once again painting a black eye on the city of Bridgeport as he did when he lost in 2003, continuing the negative attacks that were the theme of his campaign.”
“Filing complaint after complaint, loss after loss, is not productive and is an insult to Bridgeport voters,” McClain said.
Caruso said all he wanted was a “fair and orderly, honest election,” for every citizen in Bridgeport. What he got was an election where, “The registrar of voters repeatedly violated state statutes and became an advocate for my opponent.”
In nine affidavits submitted as exhibitsto the lawsuit, Bridgeport voters described what they observed at their respective polling places on Sept. 11.
Emeline Bravo-Blackwood who voted at Dunbar School said she observed the moderator instructing a voter ahead of her how to vote by pointing to Bill Finch’s name in Row A. When it was Bravo-Blackwood’s turn, the moderator “again pointed to the Bill Finch line and told us to fill in the circles on that line,” she said in her affidavit.
She said when she walked away from the voting booth she noticed more Finch political literature. She said she took the literature and slid it under the table because it should not have been inside the polling place.
This was also the first time Bridgeport used the new Diebold AccuVote optical scan machines.
In the lawsuit Caruso claims the Registrar of Voters Santa Ayala failed to properly train poll workers, failed to notify his campaign of poll worker positions and failed to ensure the poll worker positions were divided equally between Caruso, who petitioned to get on the ballot, and Finch, the party endorsed candidate.