A rare tie vote in the Town Council District 4 race between Republican Steve Carroll and Democrat Peter Talbot will trigger a recount after each candidate received 797 votes.
Carroll said the vote tally went through a few permutations before the tie was announced. "I won by eight at Norton (poll location) and lost by 20 at Doolittle. Then I got 12 absentee votes," for a tie. "I've never heard of a tie," in council votes, Carroll added.
Democratic Registrar of Voters Aleta Looker said a tie in the results means the at-large Town Council races can't be finalized. She said if Talbot wins, an at-large Democratic candidate could get bumped. That's because state law requires at least two of nine council members be from the minority party.
A victory for Talbot would give the Democrats three seats on the council which in turn could force the removal of a Demcratic at-large candidate with the least amount of votes.
Republican Town Council Chairman Tim Slocum received the largest number of at-large votes meaning he will likely continue as the council chairman. Traditionally the top vote getter is chosen by the council to serve as chairman.
Republican Board of Education Chairman Jerry Brittingham also received the highest number of votes in his party, providing him with the opportunity to serve as chairman for another term.
"I would like to be chairman again. I think I'm a very effective chairman, I do a lot of work behind the scenes," he said.
The hot issue of the campaign, the referendum for the $30 million sewer plant upgrade was defeated in a close vote of 2,713 for the measure and 2,850 against.
The unofficial vote totals can be seen on the attached jpg documents.
Earlier in the day, residents, poll workers and candidates discusssed the light voter turnout.
Cheshire High School:
"It's been steady, no long lines," said Patricia McKinley, poll moderator. "No quirky mishaps." According to McKinley, by 4:30 p.m. voter turnout was 19.5 percent.
David Schrumm, incumbent Republican candidate for District 1 Town Council, greeted and conversed with exiting voters. He feels strongly about the issue of the water treatment plant upgrade, using the backdrop of the high school as his spingboard.
"You can argue over football fields and schools, but you ought to protect your right to flush," he said to one voter, steadying himself on a campaign sign bearing his name.
The voter turnout at Norton was "steady, good," according to Barbara Ecke, poll moderator. "This is a busy district," she said.
Jack Neiswanger, Cheshire resident of eight years, said he votes every year and that he voted all Republican today. "It's always all about the pool," Neiswanger commented.
Right outside of Norton School stood Democratic candidates Peter Talbot, District 4, and incumbent Michael Ecke, at-Large. Ecke's 15-year-old daughter, Caroline, joined them.
"It's been slow, although I've been encouraged at the turnout," said Talbot . He had been at Norton since 5:30 a.m. while Ecke split his time between all polling locations.
Further up the driveway near the Norton school entrance, stood about 10 Repulican candidates and supporters, including Lou Nero, candidate for Board of Assesment Appeals; Steve Carroll, Town Council District 4 incumbent; and incumbents Jim Sima and Tim Slocum, at-large candidates for Town Council.
Jim Sima's wife, Jackie, thinks the voter turnout at Norton for an off-year election was pretty impressive. "Most of the people you see here always vote," she said.
Dodd Middle School:
Poll worker Charles Dimmick at Dodd Middle School predicted just over 300 residents would vote. He said the turnout is about on track to meet that low number. About 1,200 are eligible to vote in District 7 where Republican Town Council incumbent Andy Falvey is being challenged by Democratic newcomer Joe Schmitt.
1:00 p.m. Nov. 8
Polls at Norton School in Cheshire busy for 4th District voting between Town Council candidates Steve Carroll and Peter Talbot.
5 a.m. Nov. 8
Only 36 percent of Cheshire voters went to the polls in 2009.
Those elected took office after being chosen by little more than a third of the eligible voters. Once on the Town Counicl and the Board of Education, the officials were able to approve millions of dollars in projects, resolve labor issues and see a new police chief hired.
Municipal elections remain the most direct link residents have in shaping the future of their town.
The polls are open today from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the following 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