By Greenwich Time intern Jay Polansky
Today I rocked the vote. And the fire lane.
Due to the removal of the famous North Mianus rock (pun intended), near the entrance to the District 12 polling place, I had to park in the fire lane of the school’s front circle facing Palmer Hill Road instead of its expansive back circle and parking lot facing Old Orchard Road.
However, as a first-time voter it was a small hiccup in my voting experience. Thankfully, my “I voted today” sticker did not come with a parking ticket.
Ned Lamont, left, Democratic candidate for governor, shakes hands with Tom Foley, the endorsed Republican candidate for the post at Greenwich High School earlier Tuesday. Lamont was at GHS to vote and mingle with the electorate, while Foley was mixing with voters after having voted at the Bendheim Western Greenwich Civic Center.
Wonder what a similar meeting would be like if the two Greenwich residents met in the November general election…
District 5 (Riverside School) took the lead of highest voter participation, surpassing District 8 (Central Middle School), which held the lead for the past couple of hours.
According to unofficial totals from the town, between Republicans and Democrats, the polling place with the highest total of voters is District 5 (Riverside School) with 328. That’s over 16 percent of its 2,009 registered GOP and Dem voters. District 3 (Western Middle School) continues to see the fewest voters, with 68, or just over 7 percent of its 896 registered GOPers and Dems, voting.
A total of 1,801 Republicans, or over 13 percent of the 13,448 total registered GOPers in town, have cast ballots at the town’s 12 polling places. For Dems, 1,101 voters, or about 12 percent of the 9,126 Dems registered in town, have voted.
Combining Republicans and Democrats, 2,870, or under 13 percent of the 22,574 registered GOPers and Dems, have voted.
Republicans continue to have an edge in total voters as of 1 p.m.
According to unofficial totals from the town, 1,579 Republicans, or over 11.7 percent of the 13,448 total registered GOPers in town, have cast ballots at the town’s 12 polling places. For Dems, 962 voters, or just above 10 percent of the 9,126 Dems registered in town, have voted.
Combining Republicans and Democrats, 2,550, or under 10 percent of the 22,574 registered GOPers and Dems, have voted.
Between Republicans and Democrats, the polling place with the highest total of voters is District 8 (Central Middle School) with 277. That’s over 11 percent of its 2,448 registered GOP and Dem voters. District 3 (Western Middle School) has seen the fewest voters, with 63, or just over 7 percent of its 896 registered GOPers and Dems, voting.
Sean Olbrych, the Democratic moderator at Riverside School in Greenwich said the town’s Democratic Party head Frank Farricker stopped by the polling station before noon to deliver an important missive. Farricker wanted results reported soon after 8 p.m., with the Democratic race for governor very close. Farricker had said turnout upstate was very light, and the race could come down to voters in Greenwich and Stamford. Not surprising that voters here are more invested in former Stamford mayor Dan Malloy and Greenwich resident Ned Lamont.
Well, that’s true when it comes to the voting arrangement today at Park Avenue Elementary School in Danbury.
As registered voters enter the school gymnasium, they can easily see that Democratic voting is on the right and Republican voting on the left.
Parties also were color-coded – red for the Republicans, and green for the Democrats.
As of 1 p.m., it was no line, no wait for either side at Park Avenue.
GOP candidates Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele and Mark Boughton said during a stop at Danbury High School this morning that they’re encouraged by the turnouts in their home turfs.
Boughton, the Republican-endorsed candidate for lieutenant governor and Fedele’s running mate, said that by 11 a.m., the turnout in Danbury where he is serving his fifth term as mayor was about 12 percent for Republicans — outnumbering Democratic voters in early polling by nearly two to one.
Fedele, who is in a hotly contested race for the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination with Tom Foley and Oz Griebel, estimated the turnout in his hometown of Stamford was between 20 and 30 percent in early voting.
“The turnout by Republicans in Stamford has been very strong and that’s encouraging,” Fedele said during a stop at Danbury High School.
Boughton, who is in a primary battle with Lisa Wilson-Foley, an entrepreneur from Simsbury, said he is hoping the turnout in Danbury is a good sign and that “we are staying cautiously optimistic.”
The candidates are planning to make several stops in the Greater Danbury region, including Brookfield and New Fairfield, before heading back to the coast.
– Dirk Perrefort
While for many voters in today’s primary, the focus is on high-profile candidates like Linda McMahon, Ned Lamont and Dan Malloy, don’t discount the Tea Party, which is bringing some people to the polls.
Though he’s never voted in a primary before, Matt Kocian headed to Old Greenwich School around noon to support Tea Party-endorsed Republican Senate candidate Peter Schiff, and Rob Merkle, who is looking to challenge Jim Himes in the 4th Congressional District.
“This is the first time in my life I have been totally scared and frightened for my country,” said Kocian, 52, who attended his first Tea Party rally at Town Hall in Greenwich on Tax Day in 2009.
Kocian said he wants his representatives in Congress to cut deficit spending and entitlement programs, including recently-extended unemployment benefits, and repeal the contentious health care reform legislation.
“I did a lot of research,” said Kocian, who never thought he’d support such far-right politicians. “I voted for people that stand for our Constitution.”
Kocian’s wife, Nancy Pelgrift, was a registered Independent who switched to the GOP so she could vote in the primary and “take ownership” of the election.