Election officials were not expecting the same voter turnout the state saw during last year’s presidential election, but in some places where there are contentious local contests turnout is pretty high.
In East Haven where Mayor April Capone Almon, a Democrat is fighting to win a second term, turnout is around 64 percent, according to election officials. Republican Board of Education member John Finkle is challenging Capone Almon, who is fighting a pending criminal charge for allegedly trying to stop a town police officer from having cars towed.
Av Harris, spokesman for Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, said Tuesday that voter turnout is expected to be around 35 to 36 percent. “Forty percent would be a good turnout,” in a local election year, Harris said.
In 2007, 40 percent cast ballots in local races and in 2008 80.5 percent of registered voters turnout to cast ballots in the presidential election year.
Meanwhile there has also been a handful of complaints to election officials.
The first complaint came in from the town of Wilton where voters complained about a candidate sign which could be seen from inside the polling place. The sign was on a truck outside of the 75-foot-boundary line, so even though it was within view, it wasn’t in violation of state election laws, Harris said.
A similar complaint was made by voters in Derby who were upset about a candidate sign on a fire truck near the polling, but again Harris said the truck was outside the 75-foot boundary.
In Newington Republican Mayor Jeff Wright was found inside a polling place. Harris said no candidates are allowed inside the polling places. Wright’s excuse: he was teaching someone how to use a Blackberry.
And one of the machines in East Haven was down for awhile, which led to some acrimony, which was resolved when the backup scanning machine was brought in.
Overall the two-year old scanning machines were working well, Harris said.