Voter turnout for Tuesday’s local elections was reported as slow but steady across Fairfield County, with big city mayor to town selectmen, zoning board posts and local referendum questions on the ballot. Voter turnout was predictably stronger in Bridgeport and Greenwich, where there were higher-profile elections on Nov. 5.
By Tuesday evening, voter turnout was averaging about 19 percent, ranging from the single digits in some communities to more than 30 percent in others.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said turnout appeared to be on track or slightly lower than a typical local election year. The average statewide turnout was about 30 percent in 2017. Merrill said turnout was very different in different towns.
In Bridgeport, there were reports of minor problems at polling places, including some confusion in Bridgeport about whether some Sacred Heart University students were eligible to vote.
In Danbury, Republican Mayor Mark Boughton, who ran a third unsuccessful run for governor last year, sought a record 10th two-year term as the city CEO. He faced his stiffest challenge in 18 years from former City Council President Chris Setaro, a Democrat who has matched Boughton in campaign fundraising.
The Danbury News-Times reported that voting was heavier than normal in one downtown ward for a non-federal election year.
Democrats encouraged local voters to send Republican President Donald Trump a message. One flyer circulated by one Democratic Town Committee read: “The only way to stop him is stop them,” referring to “Trump Republicans” at all levels of government.
In Greenwich, a local police sergeant recently was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation, after admitting he purchased campaign signs that linked the Republican Party’s candidate for First Selectman-- state Rep. Fred Camillo -- to President Trump. Voter turnout in Greenwich was about 32 percent early Tuesday night.
Republican Party Chairman J.R. Romano criticized Democrats for tying local and federal politics, saying, “That’s not what local politics is about.” The GOP controls 101 of the state’s 169 municipal chief executive jobs.