Election Fraud Cases
Former state representative Christina Ayala pleaded guilty to two counts of providing a false statement and was sentenced to a suspended one-year prison term followed by two years of conditional discharge. Ayala had voted in a series of elections, including the 2012 presidential election, in districts in which she did not live. When confronted about residency discrepancies by state investigators, Ayala fabricated evidence to corroborate her false residency claims. Before agreeing to a plea deal, she faced eight counts of fraudulent voting, 10 counts of primary or enrollment violations, and one count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. As a condition of her plea deal, she is barred from seeking elected office for two years.
The State Elections Enforcement Commission ruled that State Rep. Minnie Gonzalez was "knowingly present" while four voters fraudulently filled out absentee ballots at City Hall during the 2006 election. She was fined $4,500 by the Commission. Gonzalez appealed the fine but lost in the state Superior Court.
City Councilwoman Lydia Martinez admitted to illegally assisting in the filling out of absentee ballots, as well as encouraging those not eligible to vote absentee to do so. Martinez targeted residents of an assisted living home, Harborview Towers. She was ordered by the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission to pay a $500 fine. This was not the first time she was fined by the Commission: In 2008, she was found liable to pay $664 to the Citizens Election Fund for the excess expenditures her campaign committee made for her failed run for the State House.
Carlos Lopez and his wife, Luz Lopez, registered to vote and voted on three separate occasions (2004, 2006, and 2007) in Hartford, where they own a furniture store, while actually living in Farmington. Lopez and his wife were ordered to pay a civil penalty to the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission in the amount of $2,000.
Luz Lopez and her husband, Carlos Lopez, registered to vote and voted on three separate occasions (2004, 2006, and 2007) in Hartford, where they own a furniture store, while actually living in Farmington. Lopez and her husband were ordered to pay a civil penalty to the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission in the amount of $2,000.
In 2009, Lillian Cummings Stevenson agreed to a consent order after the State Elections Enforcement Commission found her guilty of illegally signing and submitting two absentee ballot request forms on behalf of her sons, who were living in Europe. She was given a $200 fine.
Prenzina Holloway, of Hartford, Connecticut, voted using another voter's absentee ballot in the 2004 Democratic primary. She was ordered to pay a civil penalty to the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission in the amount of $10,000, but she was only required to pay $2,000 because of financial hardship. Ironically, she was later hired by the Hartford Democratic registrar of voters to work in connection with a 2009 municipal election.
Eva Corrigan admitted to failing to co-sign the absentee ballots of those she assisted. She was ordered by the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission to pay a $100 civil penalty.
Former state representative Barnaby Horton was charged with absentee ballot fraud after he was caught inducing elderly residents to cast absentee ballots for him. After a lengthy court battle, he pleaded guilty to felony charges of ballot fraud and agreed to pay a $10,000 fine, one of the largest fines ever imposed by the State Elections Enforcement Commission. A Superior Court judge sentenced Horton to two years' probation and ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service.
Hector Riellano admitted to failing to acknowledge assisting someone with the filing of their absentee ballot. He was fined $350 by the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission.
Dolores Scalesse admitted to violating Connecticut law by falsely claiming she was a witness to all the signatures on a state petition. She entered into a consent agreement with the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission and was ordered to pay a $250 civil penalty.
Michael Singh, of Stratford, CT, registered to vote, voted, and eventually was elected to the town council despite the fact that he is not a U.S. citizen. An immigrant from Jamaica, he registered to vote in 1999, ran unsuccessfully for state senate in 2000, and won a seat on the Stratford town council in 2001, where he became majority leader. The Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission later found that he was not a U.S. citizen and required that he pay $4,000 in fines and resign from his position.
Sybil Allen, while serving as a Democrat on the Bridgeport Town Committee, engaged in a range of absentee ballot-related fraud. Allen completed ballot applications in the name of residents, forged signatures, and on at least one occasion got a voter to forge a ballot registration form for a family member who no longer lived in the community. Allen also told one voter that a candidate was not on the ballot and watched voters fill out their ballots before taking possession of them. Allen eventually agreed to pay a civil fine of $5,000 and was barred from running for re-election for two years.
Warren Blunt, a city councilman in Bridgeport, pleaded guilty to being present while people cast their absentee ballots and subsequently taking those ballots while running for re-election in the town's Democratic primary. The State of Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission fined Blunt $2,500 and required him to resign from the town committee. He was also barred from running for elected office again for two years.
As part of a "get out the vote" campaign leading up to the 2000 election, Ronald Caveness admitted to distributing absentee ballots, being present while people filled them out, and then collecting them. After an investigation by the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission, he agreed to resign from the Democratic Town Committee, not seeking re-election for two years, and pay a fine of $4,000, which was eventually reduced to $1,000.