Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voter turnout already above 50% as of 3:30 p.m.

Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz is reporting continuing heavy turnout throughout the state, as record numbers of Connecticut voters are going to the polls. As of 3:30 p.m. many towns throughout Connecticut are already reporting 50% of registered voters already having cast ballots, even before the late afternoon rush.

“The 2008 election will be one for the record books,” said Secretary Bysiewicz. “All over the state, registrars and our teams on the ground are saying they have never seen this kind of turnout – ever. Lines are long in some polling places, but the lines are moving, the poll workers and our new optical scan machines are handling the crowds well. We are also seeing crowds of young people coming to the polls like we have never seen in Connecticut history.”

Bysiewicz added, “As we go into the late afternoon rush to the polls, I would urge anyone who has not yet voted in Connecticut to give yourself extra time to get to your polling place and anticipate having to wait in line before the polls close at 8:00 p.m. I want to remind all Connecticut voters that anyone in line at their polling place by 8:00 p.m. will still be able to cast a ballot.”

Turnout was extremely heavy in cities like Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven; some polling places were seeing double their normal volume of voters on Election Day.

Bysiewicz is reminding first time voters to take with them to the polls either a current and valid photo identification that shows their name and address; or present a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows name and address.

Secretary Bysiewicz is also reminding voters that although no one can be prevented from voting if they wear a campaign button or shirt to the polls, Connecticut General Statutes Section 9-236 prohibits solicitation on behalf of any candidate or question within 75 feet of any polling place. This would prevent an individual from wearing a campaign button, t-shirt or hat into the polling place. However, once the individual removes the button or article of clothing from plain sight, the individual would be allowed to enter the polls and to vote. Once the individual leaves the polling place and the 75 foot restricted area, they could again wear the button or article of clothing.

“We want to make sure that voters are properly informed of their rights,” said Bysiewicz. “In interpreting the law, we also want to ensure that polling places remain neutral zones where voters can go and vote their conscience free of real or perceived intimidation. We understand that many voters feel passionate about the candidates they support and will want to express their opinions through their attire. This expression is protected by the Constitution; however it must be limited to areas outside the 75’ boundary for the polling place.”

Secretary Bysiewicz is encouraging voters to visit www.Vote-EZ-CT.com to learn more about acceptable forms of identification or to help locate their polling place.

Estimated Voter Turnout as of 3:30 PM

Avon 57%
Barkhamstead 59%
Burlington 53%
Canaan 47%
Canton 60%
Colebrook 50%
East Granby 59%
Goshen 59%
Granby 60%
Hartland 47%
Harwinton 51%
Litchfield 43%
Morris 51%
Salisbury 51%
Simsbury 61%
Winchester 45%


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