Election Day: Colin's Citizen Observers Report From Around Connecticut

We check with our panel of voters around the state.

Chion Wolf
Election Day: Colin's Citizen Observers Report From Around Connecticut
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Election Day: Colin's Citizen Observers Report From Around Connecticut

Can it be? Is West Hartford the new Bridgeport?

Election Day is unfolding before us, and right now the big lines and the unhappy faces are in West Hartford, which implemented a consolidation of polling places from 20 to 9. What could go wrong?
Meanwhile the campaign of Chris Murphy is freaking out because his opponent Linda McMahon sent workers to the polls in purple shirts that closely resemble signature shirts of the Murphy-supporting SEIU union. McMahon's purple shirts say I support Obama and McMahon. Her workers are also handing out palm cards showing boxes checked -- even though we don't check here in Connecticut -- for Obama and McMahon. Nerves are frayed and it's only mid-afternoon. Right now, John Dankosky and I will host a show crammed with reports from voters who are not political professionals and journalists.
Tonight, we're back on the air at 7 p.m. from Real Art Ways in Hartford, providing the latest details on the Connecticut vote.
Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.



E-mail from Anonymous

I live in the lone Republican aldermanic district in New Haven. I waited about a half hour in line this morning to vote. Bigger turnout than usual, despite the impact of Hurricane Sandy on Morris Cove.

I work in Waterbury, where the lines to vote are long. I have seen some people walk in to their polling place and turn around and leave because of the length of the line. Some poll standers here are telling people they need ID to vote.

E-mail from Doris

I, too, live in West Hartford.

Before Superstorm Sandy changed my plans, I thought that I was going to be in NYC on Election Day.

So I downloaded an application to obtain an absentee ballot, but decided to go to town hall instead.

I received the ballot without showing any ID. When I commented on ease of obtaining the form, the person helping me stated that I had agreed that I am the person filling out the ballet when I completed the form.

Should there be a bit more verification?!

E-mail from Ed

Colin, the other side of the long lines at Bristow in West Hartford is :

When folks said impatiently that they were just not going to vote ( only 2 during my wait), tactful murmurs from others in the crowd were
" we are so lucky to have this opportunity that so many in the rest of the world would love to have," and " I've waited longer at the Motor Vehicles Department; this isn't such a big deal."

E-mail from Steve

Hi Colin. I had just poured my fourth mug of coffee this morning when I got the sudden urge to go vote. I drove downtown, stood briefly in line, voted, chatted with poll workers--all of whom I've known for years--and drove home to find my coffee still warm. I popped it in the microwave for 10 seconds to get it hot again, and felt the warm satisfaction of having done my civic duty. In the last election, Thomaston was the most Republican-voting town (per capita) in the state, so I'm expecting it to go that way again. (I am very much not Republican, though almost everyone else I know here is.) The atmosphere at the Town Hall where the voting took place was extremely warm and friendly. The only cozier voting experience I've had was in a small town in Maine (pop. about 1000) where I lived for a while. The voting there took place in a former one-room schoolhouse with the original Franklin stove still in use (and crackling away), and where the voting booths had handmade saloon-style wooden doors. The voting was done with those tiny pencils you can barely hold on to. I always wondered whether little retired schoolmarms "corrected" the ballots later.

E-mail from Jack

In the past, I have shown my driver's license when I have voted in Durham, but today I deliberately produced a credit card instead to test whether the poll workers were aware of the law. I am happy to report that my credit card was accepted without a word.

E-mail from Scott

No problems really, once I got to the right polling place.

As a new resident to Hamden I went to the town webpage last week and checked out the polling location. They have an application where you can put in your address and it tells you where to vote, and I also looked up on a PDF document they had, listing all the streets with your polling location. I dutifully went to the assigned site ready to vote only to be told it is the wrong place. People there were nice and told me where to go and called the town to make sure.

Once I got to the right place, no problems voting; went very quickly, no wait. When I got home I saw Facebook had “I voted page” and an application to find your polling place. I used this just to see what it said, and it directed me to the proper location. I wonder why the Town of Hamden can’t direct people to the right place, while Facebook can. Seems someone failed their job in Town Hall.

E-mail from Lisa

Busy polling place in Willington. No lines, but they ran out of "I Voted" stickers by 11:30 am! After being told at the polls on primary day that it was a CT state law to show a photo id to vote and then finding out that wasn't true after the fact, I conducted a little test of the law today. I thankfully successfully voted without issue with just a blank check with my name and address on it. Yeah for democracy!

E-mail from Terry

(I hope that this comment fits within the scope of your program today.)

I would like to remind those people who are planning to vote for Obama and Linda McMahon that a vote for McMahon is a vote for a Republican majority in the Senate. A Republican majority would mean that all the Senate committee chairmen would be Republican and, with Republican control of the House, Republicans could ram through the ultra conservative/Tea Party agenda. Given the conservative dominance of the Supreme Court, moderate government wouldn't stand a chance. Please Think Before You Vote for McMahon.

E-mail from Kate

It's the perfect storm, really. The new, consolidated voting districts and high Presidential turnout mean they have to work out the kinks on Election Day.

My husband's been working the polls for several years and is the Moderator at Elmwood Community Center today where I waited for just shy of an hour from about 9:30 until 10:25 to vote. He said that they had lines of 45 minutes to an hour since they opened. I've seen FB posts that they've split the street lists there now, so hopefully things are improving.

I was approached by a young woman who I assume was from the SEEC (I really wish she had identified herself as at first I thought she was just some random person.) about my wait time and she was calling in to report to somebody in Hartford. I am impressed that this much attention is being paid to us in West Hartford. And it makes me wonder, as I always have, about how polling places are run in other parts of the country. I have always heard stories about multiple hour waits and I've scratched my head as today's wait was the longest I've ever had.

E-mail from Julie

I voted straight Democrat ticket here in Stamford. My voting location was Rippowam Middle School which was very efficient. My wait was only about 15 minutes.

I do have mixed feelings about voting as I did. Listening to Mr. Nadar yesterday caused me some guilt. However, I feel (like one of John Dankosky's callers this morning) that 4 years is too short of a time to know what sort of a job Mr. Obama is capable. Especially under the circumstances he took office and a congress unwilling to work for the people who elected them but to get re-elected.

Thanks for the show and your great work on keeping folks informed.

E-mail from Anonymous

Forgot to mention in my earlier email about the heavy voter turnout in Canton: Folks were there doing exit polling – something I’ve never seen in this town of 10,000 people. (I didn’t catch the name of the polling firm, but all the logos for the major news networks like CNN, ABC, etc. were on the form that voters were asked to fill out.)

(Name withheld, please. I was rushing to get the email to you before Where We Lived ended and forgot that important detail.)

E-mail from Gary

My wife waited nearly 50 minutes at Bristow Elementary in West Hartford late this morning to vote! Precinct change may have caused the backup.
Never experienced anything like this, and we have lived here nearly twenty years. Cross section of the community--mother's with babies, older folks, middle aged, people in wheelchairs, kids in their twenties.

E-mail from Lys


This is Lys Guillorn, Shelton, CT artist and singer/songwriter.

I voted in Shelton at Shelton Intermediate School at 7:10 am and even though there was a line, it was only about 15-20 people long and it moved pretty quickly. I think I was there about twenty minutes total. No shenanigans to report. What I wasn't expecting was how relieved I felt after I voted.

Thanks & be well