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Illustrated graphic of buildings in Bridgeport CT, a ballot box, an "I Voted" sticker and the name In Absentia across them.
In Absentia

This four-part investigation tells the story of political dysfunction in Bridgeport, the systems that enable it, and what this all means for the residents who wonder if their vote even matters.

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  • What systems enable political dysfunction? How can people in power be held accountable? In Bridgeport — and across Connecticut — people are working to change government through grassroots activism and election reforms.
  • Mayor Joe Ganim keeps winning elections with the support of Bridgeport’s Democratic political machine. Machine politics has a rich and controversial history in the United States. Today, critics say it’s thriving in Bridgeport — and that it’s holding the city back.
  • Once Joe Ganim was released from prison, he returned to the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he staged his political comeback. In 2015, Ganim defeated several candidates to become mayor once again — and he’s been in office ever since.
  • In the 1990s, a young political newcomer named Joe Ganim became mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut. At the time, he was considered a rising star in state politics. But his career took an unexpected turn, and the FBI got involved.
  • This four-part investigation looks for answers in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where corruption charges, allegations of absentee ballot misconduct, and machine politics have left some residents wondering if their vote even matters.