It was hard for election officials to figure out how many voters would show up at the polls Tuesday, but it’s safe to say based on preliminary numbers that turnout was robust.
As of 6 p.m. Tuesday voter turnout in Connecticut was nearly 70%. But final statewide turnout numbers won’t be available for at least another day. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill saidthis is the highest number she can ever remember and she believes voter turnout could top 80%.
“At the end of the day it looks like people came with both. They came in person and they came with absentee ballots. When you add it all up people are very interested in voting this year,” Merrill said
In West Hartford, where more than 18,000 voters cast absentee ballots, turnout was 84%, which is higher than it was in 2016.
As of 10 p.m. Tuesday only 24 of the 169 cities and towns had completely reported their results.
“This was a hard one to call for election officials. We had to prepare for everyone coming in person and for everyone voting absentee ballot,” Merrill said. “It would appear that many more people decided to come in at the last minute in person.”
This was the first time voters were allowed to vote by absentee ballot without an excuse because of the pandemic.
“I’m really happy to see all these people come out today even with the pandemic,” Richard Weir, a Hartford voter, said.
Absentee ballots that were dropped off Tuesday were unable to be counted until the polls closed.
Official results aren’t expected until Saturday.