Darien polls kick off to quiet start
Updated 10:37 am, Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Despite a highly contested race for first selectman, the polls have been relatively quiet as election day kicks off.
As of 10 a.m., 1,131 residents, 9.1 percent of eligible voters, cast their ballots.
Election Official for District II Steven Anderson said he had seen a steady stream of people coming into vote since the polls opened at 6 a.m. but believed the numbers were still down compared to previous years.
"It's hard to say how many people we will have vote because it is an off year for elections," he said. "Then again we could see surges later on in the day and get more people."
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Anderson was unsure when the surges would possibly hit the polls but said it could vary from district to district and either happen in the early afternoon or later at night when residents begin arriving home from work.
Republican Registrar of Voters Don Smith said an off-year election will typically draw about 41 percent of the eligible voters in town. Currently, there are 6,084 registered Republicans, 2,325 Democrats, 4,027 unaffiliated, 10 Libertarians and two Green Party voters in town.
"We base all of our estimates on previous elections and 41 percent is what it has been for the past three or four elections," Smith said. "You don't get the people interested in these types of elections as you would otherwise.
Absentee ballots have also taken a hit as only 200 had been submitted as of this morning.
Republican candidate for first selectman Jayme Stevenson said she is feeling positive about the election so far and has spent the morning visiting Darien's polls.
"I'm doing great and it's just a beautiful day, so I hope everyone comes out and votes. It may be a toss up between going to vote or going to the beach today," she said. "I've been to all of the polls this morning and everyone is really happy to be out exercising their right to vote."
Democratic candidate for first selectman John Lundeen did not yet respond to a request for comment as of posting this update.