Elections Government

[Updated] Election Day Running Smoothly in West Hartford

Standing outside the polling place at Town Hall Tuesday morning are (from left): Zack Delaney, Beth Kerrigan, Dennis Swanton, and Matt Salner. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

[Updated, Nov. 7, 2017, 6:45 p.m.]

By Ronni Newton

As voting on Election Day 2017 neared the end, Republican Registrar of Voters Beth Kyle said everything continued to go well in West Hartford.

Turnout was still on track to be about 30 percent, but at Braeburn, Bristow, and Hall, looked to be tracking higher than during the 2015 municipal election. Other sites were seeing slightly lower turnout, and Kyle said overall results would probably be similar to 2015.

A total of 739 Absentee Ballots had been received as of 6:30 p.m.

Kyle said that the Registrar’s Office did field some phone calls from residents regarding moving the voting area at Sedgwick to the gym, with concerns about the handicapped accessibility of parking on the east side of the school building.

During the day, a change was made to utilize the parking area on the west side of the school for those with accessibility needs and have those individuals cross through the interior of the school to the gym.

“We wanted to make it as accessible as possible for all voters,” Kyle said.

Original Story

Candidates and supporters voters outside polling places as West Hartford residents cast their ballots in the 2017 municipal election.

Candidates and their representatives stand outside the polling place at Braeburn School Tuesday. From left: Chris Williams, Dallas Dodge, Sharon Conway, Karen Lurie, Deb Polun. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Candidates from both major parties and campaign volunteers were stationed the required 75 feet from the door of each of West Hartford’s nine polling places Tuesday, greeting voters as they headed inside to fill out their ballots.

“It’s going really well,” Republican Registrar of Voters Beth Kyle said just after 1:30 p.m.

Kyle said that having nice weather was a bonus, especially in the morning when it was sunny and relatively mild. The afternoon turned cloudy and chilly.

Turnout seemed to be about average for a municipal election, Kyle said, and she anticipates a voter turnout of about 30 percent, similar to the turnout in 2015.

Braeburn School tends to be the busiest polling place, and as of 2:05 p.m. 1,052 of the 4,920 registered voters had cast a ballot.

Early voting was busy at Conard High School, Kyle said. According to moderator Beth Sweeney, 802 of the 4,006 registered had voted by 2:30 p.m.

The counting of Absentee Ballots was underway at Town Hall by early afternoon. According to Kyle, 731 Absentee Ballots had been received as of noon. To be counted, ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

While there have not been any changes to the locations of polling places since last year, Kyle noted that the spaces within buildings have recently changed at both Sedgwick Middle School and Conard High School.

Sedgwick’s main office has moved to the former multi-purpose room where voting previously was held, and the voting is now held in the school’s gym. Voters should follow the directional signs to park on the east side of the building.

Voting moved to the Conard cafeteria for the 2015 election, and is in the cafeteria this year as well, but many voters still automatically head to the gym. Kyle said that the back parking lot on Berkshire is the closest to the cafeteria and signs are posted to direct voters to park there.

Technical glitches have not created any problem with this year’s election, Kyle said.

Although everything had been carefully tested on Monday, there was a problem discovered with the moderators’ phone connections at two locations at 5:45 a.m. The connections were repaired by the time the polls opened at 6 a.m.

A tabulator at Town Hall had a malfunction, Kyle said, but a back-up was available and the machine was switched out quickly. Voting was not impacted at all, she said.

Polls will close at 8 p.m., and results should be available later tonight.

Check back with We-Ha.com for the details.

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Candidate Chris Barnes (right) holds up signs for the rest of the Republican team Tuesday at Conard High School while a group of volunteers (at left) hold up signs for the Democratic candidates. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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