Darien voter turnout surpasses 2014 election
DARIEN — Voter turnout in Darien increased in this year’s gubernatorial election, compared to the one in 2014.
By the time polls closed at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, 8,922 (or 65 percent) of the town’s 13,662 registered voters had cast their votes. Four years ago, turnout was at 57.8 percent, or 7,080 out of 12,251 registered voters at the time.
Despite a higher turnout rate this year, numbers failed to reach presidential election levels — in 2016, 84.7 percent of Darien’s registered voters headed to the polls.
Janet Grogan, a polling moderator at Town Hall, said there were many new voters. For the first time, Darien also had same-day registration, which could have contributed to the increase in turnout, she said.
Selectman Marc Thorne said turnout throughout the day was big compared to previous non-presidential elections.
Polling moderators said voters were already lined up to cast their ballots before 6 a.m. on Tuesday. By noon, Town Clerk Donna Rajczewski said she had received over 900 absentee ballots.
“It’s been a lot,” Rajczewski said of the amount of absentee ballots received on Election Day.
The turnout was also more comparable to a presidential election than a midterm election, Rajczewski said. By the end of the night, the Town Cleark’s office had received 1,027 absentee ballots, more than double the 417 absentee ballots received in 2014.
By 1 p.m., polling moderators at 35 Leroy Ave., had to replace ballot boxes that had filled up. Republican registrar of voters John Visi said the turnout for this year’s election was incredible.
Incumbent state Rep. Terrie Wood, R-141, earned 6,458 votes while running unopposed. Though Democrat Matt Blumenthal would go on to win the 147th District, which included parts of Darien and Stamford, he lost in Darien to Republican Anzelmo Graziosi. Graziosi narrowly won in Darien, 805 to 790.
State Sen. Bob Duff, D-25, maintained his seat despite losing to Republican Marc D’Amelio in Darien. D’Amelio won in Darien with 3,686 votes to Duff’s 2,801.
Darien’s town-level contests were largely uncontested. Neither party’s Registrar of Voters faced challenges for their seats. Board of Education candidates were also uncontested, with Democrat Katie Stein and Republican Debra Ritchie re-elected to the board. Newcomer David Brown was also elected to the board.