Original post 3:07 a.m. Updateded to add photo
NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalkers will join the rest of the state today in going to the polls to choose who will govern the state for the next four years, and who will represent the local districts for the next two years.
A Quinnipiac Poll released Election Eve showed incumbent Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy about 3 percentage points ahead of Republican challenger Tom Foley in a rematch of the 2010 election.
The 4th Congressional District race between Democratic incumbent Jim Himes and Republican challenger Dan Debicella has drawn interest nationally as Republicans are expected to add to their majority in the House of Representatives and pick up at least some seats – and possibly the majority – in the Senate.
Locally, the 142nd District seat vacated by 22-year Republican veteran Larry Cafero is up for grabs between Republican Fred Wilms and Democrat Andy Garfunkel. Wilms, a Webster Bank senior vice president, served for eight years under former Mayor Richard Moccia as chairman of the Board of Estimate and Taxation. Garfunkel, a real estate agent, home remodeler and theater technician, served 10 years as Town Clerk. The 142ns District includes parts of Norwalk and New Canaan.
The 143rd District race has been the most vitriolic, as Republican incumbent Gail Lavielle tries to stifle a challenge from Democrat Keith Rodgerson. Both are from Wilton. Supporters and surrogates have waged a muddy war, with Rodgerson’ backers calling out Lavielle for her work as a corporate communications executive for Walmart, Suez and companies that helped shape the message of tobacco giant Phillip Morris. Lavielle backers have attempted to brand Rodgerson as a “typical” Bridgeport politician – he served two terms on the Bridgeport City Council and ran as an independent for mayor, as someone who has never worked in the private sector and even an Isis sympathizer for his support of a statewide movement in 2005 to amend or rescind the Patriot Act.
In the only other seriously contested local race, Republican Planning Commission member Bill Dunne, a communications professional, is challenging longtime incumbent Democrat Bob Duff for the 25th District state Senate seat.
Republican Art Scialabba, the former Norwalk Republican Town Committee chairman, is nominally challenging incumbent Democrat Chris Perone in the 137th House District, but has not campaigned. Perone is seeing a sixth term. In the 140th, Democrat Bruce Morris is unopposed, as is Republican incumbent Terrie Wood in the 141st, covering Rowayton and Darien.
See candidate profiles:
Sen. Bob Duff chose not to be interviewed.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill released an information sheet for Election Day:
Election Day Hotline:
The Election Day Hotline is run in coordination with the State Elections Enforcement Commission and the United States Attorney’s Office in Connecticut which is 866-SEEC-INFO or 866-733-2463 in addition to an email hotline [email protected] should voters encounter any difficulties at the polls. Secretary Merrill’s office will be conducting several coordination conference calls throughout the day with counterparts at the State Elections Enforcement Commission and federal authorities to monitor any potential irregularities or problems at the polls. As voters head to the polls tomorrow, Secretary Merrill urged voters to go online at www.sots.ct.gov/vote to see where their polling place is located, view sample ballots from their town, or find a location for Election Day Registration.
Volunteer Attorney Program:
Secretary Merrill is working in concert with the Connecticut Bar Association pursuant to authority granted to her office in 2011 when the Connecticut General Assembly overwhelmingly passed Public Act 11-46 which states, in part: “…the Secretary of the State, or the Secretary’s designee, shall be allowed access to each polling place within the state during any municipal, state or federal election, primary or recanvass for the purpose of reviewing each polling place and recanvass for compliance with state and federal law.” Volunteer attorneys from the Connecticut Bar Association will be on call throughout the state available respond if asked by Secretary Merrill’s office. The designees will only be dispatched to a polling place if a particular problem is reported to the Secretary of the State’s office and it is necessary to receive independent confirmation of reported information. Designees have no authority in the polling place other than to observe the local administration of elections and report back to the secretary on the compliance with state and federal election laws. The volunteer attorneys have been trained in election administration by the Secretary of the State’s office, and have signed an agreement that they will not act in a partisan way on Election Day. In total, more than 100 Connecticut attorneys have volunteered to participate in the program, and are ready to serve in communities all over the state.
Voter ID/Election Day Registration:
Voters should bring with them some form of identification when they go to cast a ballot. A driver’s license will suffice in all cases but if a voter does not have a government issued photo ID then a bank statement, utility bill, pay stub, social security card or other forms of identification are also acceptable. Voters should go online at to see a complete list of acceptable forms of voter identification. Eligible voters in Connecticut who are not registered to vote can still vote through Election Day Registration, citizens are encouraged to go online to the Secretary of the State’s website to search for the Election Day Registration in their city or town.
Constitutional Amendment on the Ballot:
In addition to the many candidates on the ballot, Connecticut voters are also asked to weigh in on a Constitutional amendment. The question states: “Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to remove restrictions concerning absentee ballots and to permit a person to vote without appearing at a polling place on the day of an election?” If ratified by a simple majority of voters, the amendment would remove restrictive language on absentee voting from the state Constitution, permitting state lawmakers to change election laws to enact some form of early voting. A ‘YES’ vote on this Constitutional question would not change any laws immediately, but it would permit the General Assembly to loosen our current restrictions on absentee voting and potentially enact some form of early voting, as 35 other states have done. A ‘NO’ vote leaves our Constitution and our election laws as they currently are.
Currently under the Connecticut Constitution Article Sixth, voting is limited to “the day of the election” but the General Assembly is permitted to make provisions for those voters who cannot appear at their polling place “…because of absence from the city or town of which they are inhabitants or because of sickness or physical disability or because the tenets of their religion forbid secular activity.” If ratified, the amendment would remove that language and it would give the General Assembly greater authority to pass a law allowing voters to cast their ballots without having to (1) appear at their polling place on Election Day or (2) provide a reason for voting by absentee ballot.
Polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Legislative Polling Districts
Marvin School………………… 137A
St. Mary Hall…………………… 137B
Tracey School …………………. 137C
Kendall School…………………. 140A
Fox Run School………………….142A
Ponus Ridge School…………….142B
West Rocks School……………..142C
Nathan Hale School…………….143A
Voters with Disabilities
Each polling place has a Vote-By-Phone machine which is available for the visually impaired. This enables the voter to access an audio ballot read to him under computer control. Polling places are handicap accessible and election officials are trained to assist voters with mobility issues. Curbside votes is available for voters with temporary or last minute illness or difficulties.