Steady Voter Turnout in Branford

Marcia Chambers Photo The political climate has changed significantly over the last year. So how are Branford residents responding?

Voters took to the polls this morning under sunny, crisp skies as they cast their vote for the town’s next first selectman, other top town posts and the next Representative Town Meeting, the town’s legislative body. Voting was described as steady throughout the morning. Polls remain open until 8 p.m.

Incumbent Republican Jamie Cosgrove and selectman Joe Higgins are running against Democrat Lynda Mollow and current selectman Jack Ahern.

Marcia Chambers Photo At District 3’s polls, the Orchard House Adult Day Care Center in Short Beach, about 258 people had cast votes by 10:30 a.m. By noon it was up to 380 voters, about on par for a non-presidential election year. The registered voters in the 3rd district total 2,059 this year.  Mollow went to to all the districts, including district. She is pictured here with Robin Comey and Peter Jackson, who are seeking seats on the Representative Town Meeting. (RTM)

It’s very consistent,” said Chris Collins, the district’s moderator.

Marcia Chambers Photo That was also the case for District 2, in Stony Creek where 289 voters had cast votes at St. Therese’s Church by 11 a.m., the moderator said. Jill Marcus, the chair of Branford’s Police Commission, voted in the morning. 

Sally E. Bahner Photo At District 4, voting at Fire Headquarters was described by moderator Dorothy Stenger (pictured)  as “slow and steady.” As of late morning, 442 people had voted out of about 4,000 registered voters in the district. 

Sally E. Bahner Photo Democratic First Selectwoman candidate Lynda Mollow, her running mate Jack Ahern, and constable candidate Fran Walsh were greeting voters.

Sally E. Bahner Photo So was Joe Higgins, incumbent Republican selectman. Mollow said voting among the various districts she had visited was “consistent…we’ll see what happens after lunch.”

Sally E. Bahner Photo Democrat Roberta Gill-Brooks, who is running for Tax Collector and Jay Pottenger, RTM Democratic candidate, greeted District 7 voters at the Walsh Intermediate School.Sally E. Bahner Photo Moderator David DiBisceglie said voting was slow in the early morning hours (only 66 people had voted between 6 and 8 a.m. he said), but more consistent later on. As of late morning, 350 out of the 2,099 registered in District 7 had voted.
Local Color

Is Branford a Red, Blue, or Purple town? The Eagle posed that question to residents casting their votes. Are feelings about the national political climate translating locally?

“Purple,” said Ann Lupia, outside of District 4. She said she was frustrated and angry and voted straight Democratic in response to the national situation. “You meet somebody in a pocket… there are closet Republicans. [Trump] is not my president.”

Other people were more succinct in their comments.

“Blue,” said Joe Colello.

“Blue, I would guess,” said Alan Brooks. “I voted Democratic.”

“Red,” said another voter. “That’s just my opinion.”

“It’s the person, not the party,” said Darlene Zimmerman. “I’m Independent… we’re divided.”

“Red,” said Craig Levesh, who admitted that he changed his voter affiliation to vote in the primary, then changed it back again.

Same-day voting is allowed in Connecticut. Those interested can go to Town Hall and register and vote there. Polls are open until 8 p.m.

Municipal elections typically have a light turnout, around 30 percent.

Marcia Chambers contributed reporting for this story.
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