CT voter turnout on track to beat previous records; 73% reported statewide, so far

Politics

Conn. (WTNH) — Voter turnout in Connecticut seems to be on track to beat previous voting records, according to the Secretary of the State.

In some places, voters waited in line for hours. Others, only a few minutes.

RELATED: ‘We really want your vote’: Election officials ask voters not to get discouraged by long lines at the polls

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill reported the state has now seen 73% statewide voter turnout out of 98.54% of the precincts reporting.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Secretary Merrill reported the state has now seen “just about 70% turnout…The highest number I can ever remember.”

In a press conference at noon, Secretary Merrill reported, “As of right now, it looks like statewide almost 50% of the voters have voted. If you combine that with the 25% of the voters that voted absentee, you’re looking at something like 75% already and it’s only noon. That is the typical turnout in a presidential election is about 75% of the registered voters. So clearly people are voting and voting in big numbers.”

WEB EXTRA: Full press address: Secretary Merrill updates voter turnout at noon on Election Day

RELATED: Huge voter turnout expected despite virus, political rancor

When asked if voting numbers like this had ever been seen that this point during an Election Day, Secretary Merrill said, “No.”

“In 2016 the total turn out was about 75%. Now, of course, we have the biggest number of registered voters we’ve ever had, and a lot of them registered not long ago. So we’re up over 2.3 million. That’s a couple of hundred thousand more than we usually have…It just tells you we’re going to have a very large turnout.”

When asked if she thinks the state could see north of 80% of voter turnout she said, “You know, I hate making those predictions and I’ve been really cautious…I was kind of saying ‘Man, maybe 80%,’ but I don’t know. Looking at these numbers and looking at these polling places could be more than that.”

“Nobody’s apathetic, this year, that’s for sure,” Secretary Merrill said.

She went on to say they have had very few problems at the polls: “I think all of our planning is paying off…We had to prepare for both everybody coming in-person, and everybody voting absentee ballot. And, it would appear that many more people decided to come in at the last minute in person…I think now, the genie is out of the bottle on absentee voting. People really want these options”

WEB EXTRA: One-on-one with Secretary of the State Merrill: historic voter turnout, absentee ballots, when to expect complete count

As of 3:30 p.m. in New Britain, voter turnout is already at 54% including absentee ballots, according to Mayor Erin Stewart.

As of 4 p.m., the City of Derby reports 66.49% voter turnout. That includes absentee and in-person voters.

In Cromwell, voter turnout is at 78% just after 6 p.m., according to Senator Matt Lesser.

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