Via the New Haven Register:
HARTFORD >> State Rep. Christina “Tita” Ayala, D-Bridgeport, was arrested Friday on 19 voting fraud charges.
Ayala, 31, is accused of voting in local and state elections in districts she did not live, the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office said in a press release.
The arrest warrant affidavit also alleges Ayala provided fabricated evidence to state Election Enforcement Commission investigators that showed she lived at an address in a district where she voted while actually living outside the district, according to the release.
Ayala, who represents the 128th District, was elected in 2012, replacing her cousin, Andres Ayala, who was elected to the state Senate. She chose to run for reelection earlier this year, despite the voting fraud investigation, but lost a four-way primary in August.
The Elections Enforcement Commission referred the case to the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney in October 2013, recommending criminal charges.
Ayala allegedly voted in various Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee elections, a municipal primary election and a state primary election between 2009 and 2012 in districts inconsistent with the location of her residence, according to the release. She is also accused of voting in the Bridgeport state general election in 2012 in a district where she didn’t live.
According to the Connecticut Post, Ayala’s mother, Santa, was also investigated by the Elections Enforcement Commission. The commission also recommended criminal charges be filed against Santa Ayala, the Democratic registrar of voters in Bridgeport, but none have been filed as of Friday.
Christina Ayala was charged with eight counts of fraudulent voting, 10 counts of primary or enrollment violations and one count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.
According to the release, fraudulent voting is a felony punishable by not less than one year or more than two years in prison and a fine of $300 to $500 per count. Primary or enrollment violations and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence are class D felonies carrying a maximum prison sentence of up to five years per count.
Ayala’s arrest is not her first run-in with the law since her political career began in 2012.
She was fined $350 for a hit-and-run car accident shortly after winning the 2012 Democratic primary for the House seat. She later got into a fight with her boyfriend and faced domestic violence charges, which were dropped after she completed counseling.
In this case, Ayala was released on a promise to appear in court Oct. 7 for her arraignment.