Hi. For your latest Cheshire Election Day news and views come back to this Live Blog Event throughout the Day. Get updated voting number updates at each site in Cheshire along with news updates and interviews.
--DAN NOWAK, COMMUNICATIONS CHAIRMAN, CHESHIRE DEMOCRATIC TOWN COMMITTEE
8:10 p.m. - Final 8 p.m. vote tally from Norton School - 1,453 total ballots tallied. Combined with 447 at Doolittle, District 4 had a combined 1900 people voting.
7:35 p.m. - Report - As of 7 pm at Cheshire High there were 1600 ballots tallied for 34% voter turnout
7:25 p.m. - 901 people have voted at Highland School for 36% voter turnout so far.
7:05 p.m. - 7 p.m. update at Dodd Middle School - 489 have voted at Dodd, plus 29 absentee ballots represent 37.7% turnout so far
7 p.m. - Final hour of voting and counting down the minutes. Updates at Norton School and Doolittle School. At 6:30 p.m. there were 1,334 ballots collected at Norton. At Doolittle at 7 p.m., for District 5 there were 444 ballots tallied (out of 1191 registered voters) and for District 5/3 there were 166 ballots (out of 496 registered voters). In 2017 at Doolittle there were 415 total ballots for District 5 and 166 for District 5/3.
6:30 p.m. - Update at Highland School with 773 ballots recorded.
6:15 p.m. - Voting update at Dodd Middle School with 454 ballots tallied plus 29 absentee ballots representing 35.2% of voter turnout for the polling site.
5 p.m. - Voting updates at Highland, Dodd and Norton...With three hours to go for voting Highland School has jumped up to 710 votes tallied, representing 28.5 percent of the vote in District 2. At Dodd, 401 votes are in with 29 absentee ballots. Norton continues to see good turnout with 1,176 votes in so far compared to 1,000 votes at 6 p.m. at Norton in the 2017 local election.
4 p.m. - Norton, Highland & Dodd Updates: The impressive number of voters continue at Norton as the tally goes over the 1,000 mark with 1,018 so far. Dodd Middle School had 363 votes tallied at 4 p.m. plus 29 absentee ballots combining for a 28.5% voter turnout with 4 hours to go. At 3:45 p.m., Town Council (District 2) Democratic candidate Jim Jinks was voter No. 616 at Highland School.
3:30 p.m. - As of 3 p.m., 560 votes tallied at Highland School representing 22.4% of all the voters in District 2.
3:20 p.m. -Here is a 2:10 p.m update for voting numbers at Norton School. There were 813 votes tallied and that is just over a 100 votes more compared to the same time in the 2017 local election. Upward trend of voter turnout continues at Norton.
3:20 p.m. - Okay everyone, I'm back. Just needed to take break and get some of those crunchy Election Day buffalo wings at Cheshire Pizza. Now for more updates.
1:50 p.m. - A 1:20 p.m. update of voting at Cheshire High has the voting tally there rise to 875. Voter turnout continues to trend well in Cheshire.
1:30 p.m. - Report - One estimate from a knowledgeable source is that if voter turnout continues at current pace we could see about 40 percent voter turnout town wide. Typical voter turnout for a Cheshire local election is 29-32 percent.
1:20 p.m. - Here is a 1 p.m. update from Dodd Middle School. There were 262 votes accounting for 19.4 voter turnout for that site so far.
12:55 p.m. - Here is a 12:30 p.m. update from Highland School - 434 votes tallied at 17 percent voter turnout so far. Dodd Middle School turnout is at 16 percent.
12:38 p.m. - Norton School update - 694 votes tallied, In 2017 there were 699 votes at 1:55 p.m. Trend still indicates higher turnout.
12:35 p.m. - REPORT--Trump impact continues (see earlier post below) A voter walked up to Republican Town Council (District 2) candidate Guy Darter and Planning & Zoning alternate candidate Joe Grippo this morning at Highland School.
The voter asked them if they supported Trump. They said yes. The voter then said that's exactly why he's there today and why he's voting for Democrats.
There was also a voter who walked by Democratic candidates/supporters and the Republicans at Chapman School and said ''no Republicans.''
12:20 p.m. - As of 12:15 p.m. there were 430 votes tallied at the Arts Place voting site. This is about half the entire number of voters who voted in the 2017 local election - and we still have abput 7 1/2 hours of voting left.
12:15 p.m. - Judy Villa, Chairperson of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee, is cautiously optimistic with the positive news regarding high voter turnout so far.
"It's good news," Villa said. "Having a high voter turnout indicates that more people are tuned in to this local election. I would be curious to know if there is any kind of Trump affect.
"I'm hopeful we have high Democratic turnout because people have understood our message."
11:20 a.m. - At Doolittle School 188 votes tallied.
11:15 a.m. - Like other polling sites around Cheshire this morning, voting has been steady at Highland School with 350 votes tallied so far at the District 2 site. "It's been pretty impressive here with a steady stream of voters all morning," a spokesperson said. "That 350 is a strong number for this time of day in a (Cheshire) local election."
When I left Highland School there were about 10 people waiting to vote and the parking lot had a lot of cars.
10:50 a.m. - According to a spokesperson at Cheshire High "Voting has been steady all morning." As of 10:50 a.m. there were 550 votes tallied at the District 1 polling site. No one there had figures to compare to in 2015 or 2017 although one person said the traffic to that point was similar to the 2018 midterm elections (that day 54 percent of Cheshire voters came out to vote townwide).
9:45 a.m. - One Cheshire voter who wished to stay anonymous was adamant about voting only for Democrats and let Democratic supporters holding signs know it.
"I want you all to know I'm a Republican and I'm only voting Democrat today," the person said. "I'm telling everyone I know to vote Democrat because a vote for Republican is a vote for that lunatic in the White House (President Trump). My husband is a Republican and I convinced him to vote Democrat.
"I walked up to one Republican candidate I know and said I couldn't vote for them because, like I said before, a vote for a Republican is a vote for that lunatic in the White House."
9:30 a.m. - As of 9 a.m. numbers at Norton show an increase with 290 votes tallied at that time. In the 2017 local election there were 247 votes tallied at Norton at 9:10 a.m. and in the 2015 local election there were 258 votes tallied at 9:15 a.m. The spokesperson at Norton said voting was steady from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Democratic Town Council (District 4) incumbent Peter Talbot was at Norton with Democratic BOE candidates Anne Harrigan and Chris Affie.
"It's early but that 290 number is encouraging," Talbot said.
"I knocked on doors on Sunday and I got a good response then, with indications people were going to come out and vote," Harrigan said. "People have concerns with Republicans on the Town Council."
8:30 a.m,. - The following post will be the longest one I will post throughout the day as I present brief interviews, voting number updates and local political news throughout the day.
Will voting be typically light for a Cheshire local election with only 29-31 percent coming out to vote? Or will voting numbers be high and reflect the 50-60 percent of Cheshire voters (all voters combined) who came out to vote for the midterm elections in 2018?
Stay tuned and keep coming back here for updates. Obviously, I am here to promote our impressive Democratic candidates today.
However, the most important thing to note overall, if you are a Democrat, Republican or Unafilliated voter, is to exercise your basic right as an American and get out and vote today.
I actually have something in common with suffragist and Women’s Right To Vote activist Susan B. Anthony – we were both born in Adams, Massachusetts. I drive by her childhood home on 67 East R0oad in Adams, Massachusetts every time I go back home to visit family and friends. Her birthplace has been transformed into a historic museum that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Nineteenth Amendment, which guarantees the right of American women to vote, has been referred to as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment. After it was ratified in 1920, the National American Woman Suffrage Association, whose policies were influenced by Anthony, was transformed into the League of Women Voters that we know today. It is still an active force in American politics as a nonpartisan organization committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in the Democratic process.
I bring up Susan B. Anthony mainly for two reasons.
She would be the first to tell you to get off your butt and get out and vote today, although based on her biography she might have stated that in a little stronger, more colorful way.
Second, I think Anthony would have been impressed to know that Democratic women in Cheshire have reached a milestone in this 2019 local election. We have 12 Democratic candidates (all offices combined) who are women, the most Democratic women to be on the same ballot in the same local election in Cheshire. You can read about it at this link - https://bit.ly/36zZXCp. Some are incumbents and they all have impressive backgrounds, experience and credentials -- committed to a focused effort of investment and growth in Cheshire. Read, hear (podcasts) and see (videos) of these exceptional female candidates and ALL the candidates at www.Cheshiredem.org.
8:05 a.m - New in town, wondering where to vote?
Cheshire Voting Locations By District:
District 1: Cheshire High School, 525 South Main Street
District 2: Chapman School, 38 Country Club Road
District 3: Artsplace, 1220 Waterbury Road
District 4: Norton School Gym, 414 N. Brooksvale Road
Districts 5 & 5-3: Doolittle School Gym, 735 Cornwall Avenue
District 6: Highland School, 490 Highland Avenue
District 7: Dodd Middle School, 100 Park Place
8 a.m. - Good morning Cheshire residents!
Not registered to vote? You have one option left for registering to vote ELECTION DAY. You can register today but only ‘in person at the Registrar’s Office in Cheshire Town Hall. For information, call the Registrar’s Office at the main number at 203 271-6680, or call Democratic Registrar of Voters Tom Smith at 203-271-6681 or Republican Registrar of Voters Susan Pappas at 203-271-6684.
Dan Nowak is chairman of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee's Communication Relations/IT Committee, a volunteer position. He is a Cheshire Parks and Recreation Commissioner and has been a sportswriter for the New Haven Register for 34 years.