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Tuesday, November 12 News

Voter turnout steady in Westport and Weston

As the clock ticks to 8 p.m., when polls close, Westport and Weston have maintained steady voter turnout this Election Day.

As of 5 p.m., the Westport Registrar of Voters Office reported 5,232 voters showed up to polls out of the 18,606 registered voters, a turnout of around 25%. Over 400 additional absentee ballots are also expected.

The highest turnout so far was at Long Lots Elementary School, which includes District 6 and 8, with 1,230 residents showing up to cast their ballots. Coleytown Middle School, which includes District 3 and 8, followed close behind with 1,155 voters.

As of 2 p.m., the Weston Registrar of Voters reported 1,170 residents showed up to the town’s single polling location at Weston Middle School, out of 6,850 registered voters.

Weston moderator Anastasia Gussen said she was excited to see the number of voters so far, and expected to see a turnout of around 25 to 30%, which is typical of municipal elections.

“It’s been great,” Gussen said. “We’ve had a wide range of ages.”

Gussen added voter turnout typically varies in noncompetitive races depending on the hot-button issues of the town. This year, Weston First Selectman Chris Spaulding is running unopposed.

“Some things can generate a lot of excitement,” she said, noting topics like the dog park could draw voter interest.

In Westport, candidates stood outside polling places in a last-minute push for votes. Sal Liccione, candidate for District 9 of the Representative Town Meeting, said he was happy to see everyone who showed up to vote.

“After today, we all have to come out and work together,” Liccione said.

Velma Heller, RTM District 9 incumbent, said voter turnout has been very good in her district.

“More people often come out in the later hours,” she said.

At Westport’s Town Hall, the location for Election Day registration was relatively quiet. Election official Gabriella Signore said as of 2 p.m. they only had 13 people show up to register.

“It’s running pretty much like 2015,” she said, in which no major town or state seats were up for grabs.

Westport Democratic Registrar of Voters Marla Cowden echoed Signore’s sentiments, noting she didn’t expect a large late-night rush.

At Long Lots Elementary School, a steady pull of voters continued into the night. with poll moderator Maggie Avellino saying there has been steady turnout throughout the day.

“I like the interest there’s been,” she said. “A lot of families and kids have showed up today.”

Leo Egipto, a Westport resident in District 7, said he makes sure to vote in every election.

“It’s my right as a citizen to practice my right to suffrage,” Egipto said.

Marta Campbell, a voter at Long Lots, agreed, saying she felt a personal responsibility to turn out at polls.

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Meanwhile, Matthew Grodd, another Long Lots voter, said voting was an important civic duty and he always makes sure to vote.

“It’s very important,” Grodd added. “I wanted to make sure I do my part.”

As of 5 p.m., Districts 1 and 2 at Saugatuck Elemntary School have a total turnout of 1,080 out of 4,208 voters, Districts 4 and 6 at Green Farms School have a turnout of 1,139 out of 4,042 voters, and District 9 at the Westport Library has seen a turnout of 628 out of 2,074 total voters.

dj.simmons@hearstmediact.com

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