Update: Unless there's an evening rush at Cheshire's seven polling places, the turnout today in town will end up at less than 10 percent of eligible voters in the Republican presidential primary.
Republican Registrar of Voters Susan Pappas said by Tuesday afternoon, only 16 voters has cast their ballots at Dodd Middle School. Similarly small numbers were reported at the other polls as well, she said.
Poll workers at the District 5 poll at Doolittle Elementary School said less than 20 Republicans had voted by the afternoon. Moderator Maura Esposito said the first voter didn't arrive until after 8 a.m., two hours after the polls had opened.
Esposito calculated the turnout at her poll was only five percent by about 1 p.m. On a bright note, she said students from several classes visited the gym to learn about the voting process, see the voting machines and watch the process.
Pappas said the cost of the primary will be as much as $15,000. With such a low turnout, she being able to consolidate some of the poll locations would have saved money. "Knowing what I know now, I would have tried to consolidate," the polls.
West Hartford did just that in March, reducing their number of polls from 20 to nine.
to change the state law to allow local officials to condolidate polls in the face of low voter turnout.
Connecticut will join four other Northeastern states to hold a Republican Presidential Primary on Tuesday.
All seven of Cheshire's polling locations will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, said Republican Registrar of Voters Susan Pappas.
Due to redistricting, Pappas said, Elim Park residents will now vote at Cheshire High School rather than Norton Elementary School as they had in the past.
Here are the polling locations:
- District 1: Cheshire High School, 525 South Main Street
- District 2: Chapman School, 38 Country Club Road
- District 3: Artsplace, 1220 Waterbury Rd.
- District 4: Norton School Gym, 414 N. Brookvale Rd.
- District 5: Doolittle School Gym, 735 Cornwall Ave.
- District 6: Highland School, 490 Highland Ave.
- District 7: Dodd Middle School, 100 Park Place Street
Only registered Republicans are allowed to vote in the primary according to Connecticut election laws. The ballot will contain the name of Rick Santorum, despite the fact that he's dropped out of the race.
- Rick Santorum
- Newt Gingrich
- Mitt Romney
- Ron Paul
"I'm afraid the turnout will be low," Pappas said of the primary. Four years ago 39 percent of registered Republicans voted, she said. There are 4,600 registered as Republicans in Cheshire, Pappas said.
While schools are nearly always closed for general elections in Cheshire, Pappas said that won't be the case for the primary. She asked voters to be aware of school children while driving to the polls.