Connecticut Democrats win key battle; Norwalk had high voter turnout

Election Day
Campaign signs line the entrance to Ponus Ridge Middle School on Tuesday.


The aftermath
The aftermath

NORWALK, Conn. – It appears that the Democratic Party will have the top line on the ballot for the next four years, Norwalk Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells said.

It also appears that Norwalk had the third-highest voter turnout in the state, behind Stamford and New Haven.

The top line on the ballot is determined by which party gets the most votes in the gubernatorial election. Four years ago,  the Republican Party went to court to get the top line on the ballot, although their candidate, Tom Foley, lost to Democrat Dan Malloy. The problem was that many of Malloy’s votes came on the Working Families line. Republicans therefore got more votes than Democrats.

Wells said he created a spreadsheet showing governor’s election results as provided by the Secretary of the State’s website.

“Both candidates got a remarkably similar percentage of their votes from the minor party ballot lines: Foley got 4.44 percent of his votes from the Independent line and Malloy got 4.43 percent of his from the Working Families line,” Wells wrote. “A couple of towns had incomplete results, so I only had about 95 percent of the actual total votes. Nevertheless, I am quite confident that … the Democratic Party will have the top line on the ballot for the next four years. I was also able to get confirmation from the Secretary of the State’s office. Unofficial confirmation, obviously, as the towns have until Monday to finalize their reports.”

Also, while the numbers from the Secretary of State aren’t official yet, they currently show that Norwalk had the state’s third-highest voter turnout:

• Stamford 30,095

• New Haven 27,127

• Norwalk 22,492

• West Hartford 22,248

• Bridgeport 21,490

• Waterbury 16,834

• Hartford 16,745 (voters in gubernatorial election; overall total not available)

• Danbury 16,129

The Secretary of State also gives information for total voters registered, although not yet for Hartford. The percentages of registered voters going to the polls are

• West Hartford 56.3 percent (39,509 voters)

• Stamford 51.2 percent (58,769 voters)

• Norwalk 50.66 percent (44,396 voters)

• Danbury 46.57 percent (34,631 voters)

• New Haven 38.3 percent (70,832 voters)

• Bridgeport 37 percent (58,076 voters)

• Waterbury 36.9 percent (46,449 voters)

 Other election notes:

• It was a long day for Norwalk registrars: Republican Registrar Karen Doyle Lyons said her day began at 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 4 and ended at 5 a.m. Nov. 5, when the return was sent to Hartford. She said she went to bed at 7 a.m.

Wells said in an email sent at 5:19 a.m. Nov. 5 that sleep was out of the question, as movers were picking up election equipment at the polls and returning it to City Hall that morning.

Lyons said Norwalk subsequently amended the 5 a.m. paperwork due to a minor error. By contrast, New Haven filed its return at 1:30 a.m. – by simply sending up the tabulator tape, she said.

• The Election Day problems in Hartford were well publicized but there was another snafu you probably haven’t heard about: The town of Naugatuck handed out 2-year-old ballots.

Only three voters got the wrong ballots, which gave them the option of voting for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, according to news reports. The problem was that the wrong box was retrieved from the basement, reports say.

There was also a minor glitch in Greenwich, where about 12 voters in District 1A were given ballots for District 1, meaning they didn’t get the chance to vote for their state representative, according to the Greenwich Post.

As for the Hartford fiasco, the Hartford Courant reports that not many voters took advantage of the opportunity to vote between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., a makeup call to compensate for voters being turned away early that morning due to a lack of voter registration lists.



2 responses to “Connecticut Democrats win key battle; Norwalk had high voter turnout”

  1. Stuart Wells

    Naugatuck problem: wrong ballots handed out.
    Stupid of them, obviously, but the tabulators used in elections will reject any ballot from a previous election or from the wrong precinct. Even if the Ballot Clerk handing out the ballot, and the voter receiving it, don’t notice the error, the problem will always be caught as soon as the first voter tries to cast the ballot (insert it in the tabulator). At that point, everyone who was given the wrong ballot is still in the polling place, and can return it and get the correct one, so no one will lose their vote. Embarrassing, but not serious.
    Hartford – no official checklist – that is serious. Every registrar I know prints the official checklist at least four days before Election Day in order to start marking the names of the voters who have already voted by Absentee Ballot. This prevents an Absentee voter from voting a second time at a polling place. I have not seen any news report indicating why the Registrars in Hartford were printing the official checklist on the Monday before the election. Furthermore, the list can be printed on an ordinary “off the shelf from Staples” printer. Norwalk’s list is 520 pages. Hartford’s would be about 750 pages. At a slow 10 pages per minute the whole list would only take 1 hour and 15 minutes to print. I don’t know what’s wrong in Hartford, but even with a total failure of every printer at city hall, I could easily print Norwalk’s list on my $200 printer at home in under one hour. And, of course, I wouldn’t be doing it the night before the election and at 5:00 a.m. on Election Day. Maybe one precinct, if we got a frantic call at 4:00 a.m. that someone’s dog ate their list, but not the whole town. There aren’t that many hungry dogs in Norwalk.

  2. Anna Duleep, City Sheriff

    Thank you for the informative commentary, Stuart! I wanted to make a joke about hungry Norwalk dogs…but unless you’re printing on filet mignon, my little Scooter Pi has no interest in eating voter lists.

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