So where do these investigations stand?
“The eyes of the nation are on Bridgeport right now,” said Cameron Atkinson, the Bridgeport attorney who represents the group, Fight Voter Fraud.
The now-famous video from before the first mayoral primary election last year shows Geter-Pataky putting stacks of envelopes into the absentee ballot drop box outside the Margaret Morton Government Center where she works just feet away.
With yet no action from the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office, the group Fight Voter Fraud decided to take matters into their own hands.
“Every citizen of Connecticut should be outraged,” remarked Linda Szynkowicz, the CEO of Fight Voter Fraud. “Law enforcement is supposed to do their job. Someone violates the law. And they’re not. And it’s not because they don’t have any evidence. It’s there. So that’s where we stepped in.”
The group first leveraged an obscure state law to try to force an arrest in November. The law allows for any three electors or voters of a town to bring a sworn complaint to the court and petition the judge to order an arrest.
Superior Court Judge Thomas Welch, the same judge who denied Mayor Joe Ganim an appeal to reinstate his law license, has since denied the arrest warrant application saying the law is unconstitutional because it “…allows for an arrest warrant to issue without providing a vehicle for prosecution.” He said the law also relies, “on a standard of less than probable cause…”
When asked where the group goes from here, Atkinson said, “To the Connecticut Supreme Court.”
He added, “We’re confident that both the Connecticut appellate court and the Connecticut Supreme Court will reverse Judge Welch.”
Fight Voter Fraud invited FOX61 inside its headquarters for an exclusive look at its research operation. The group is working to clean Connecticut’s voter rolls of dead voters, those who’ve voted twice or in the wrong town. There’s a wall of three-inch-thick binders devoted to Bridgeport.
“They have evidence of voters who potentially have violated election laws,” claimed Szynkowicz.
FOX61 asked the group if absentee ballots are the most vulnerable voting mechanism when it comes to allowing fraud in elections.
Szynkowicz replied: “Absolutely. If I had to give a percent I would say 85% of any election violations are going to occur with the absentee ballots. People talk about wanting to keep the drop boxes. No, you don’t. There’s a more secure way to get your absentee ballot in. It’s called the post office.”
The Fight Voter Fraud headquarters have wall-to-wall bookshelves with binders labeled by city and town – and it’s not just for Connecticut.
The group is focusing its research on nine other states. Everything is hard copy. Very little is digitized or stored in the cloud.
“Because we want to leave a paper trail about what we are doing. If you look into the binders themselves every sheet of paper is coded with a number. Everything gets stamped. We have a chain of custody on everything,” explained Szynkowicz.
While the group’s actual location remains secret, their research is, in fact, quite public. Anyone can go to their town registrar’s office and ask to see the work the volunteers are doing, which they say isn’t taken seriously by state officials.
Meanwhile, state officials told FOX61 they can’t explain why Geter-Pataky still hasn’t faced any legal action.
“I obviously have no control over either the investigations or the court system,” said Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas, but she added that four years is too long. “I think all election-related cases need to be adjudicated very quickly.”
Fight Voter Fraud said it remains confident the appellate or Connecticut State Supreme Court will overturn the judge’s decision.
Geter-Pataky remains on taxpayer-funded leave. Her attorney has not returned FOX61’s request for comment and the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office has also not provided FOX61 with an update on the case since before Christmas.