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Election Day in Waterbury suffering from low voter turnout


WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — On Election Day in Waterbury, Kingsbury Elementary School and Regan Elementary School shared similar scenes — emptiness.

Related: Your Local Election Headquarters: Town-by-town candidate listings

“It’s been light,” said Joe Mahoney, an election worker at Regan. By early afternoon, only 330 people showed up to vote. 

The Registrars of Voters projected voter turnout in Waterbury to be around 17% — a frustrating figure for those who did vote and the candidates who count on every vote.

“We’re disappointed in our turnout,” said Republican mayoral nominee, Ray Work. “We put a ground game in place (to guard against it).”

“That’s very low,” a group of Waterbury voters told News 8.  “Because there’s a lot of people that I know that complain about everything and then you ask them did you vote today? Oh no. Then stop complaining.”

Tyler McElrath, a non-affiliated write-in candidate for mayor, is an African-American community activist who geared his campaign towards encouraging and energizing more minorities to get involved in the election process.

“Our city of Waterbury, our voting has been on the decline for quite some time now so our main goal was to just try and get more people out all across the city,” McElrath said. 

In contrast, turnout in neighboring Naugatuck was above average Tuesday.

News 8 asked a group of voters in Naugatuck what brought them to the polls.

“Just the economic condition of the country and everything in general,” one voter said. “Every vote’s gonna count.”

“I agree,” said another voter. “If people don’t come out to vote that it’s detrimental to the whole town. If you vote, you get the right people in, then you get what you want.”

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