More Ridgefielders than ever may vote in today’s presidential election, when months and years of campaigning come to a close.
“We expect to exceed 17,000 registered voters, which is a new high,” said Democratic Registrar Cindy Bruno. Of them, turnout is expected between 85% and 87%.
More than 1,700 absentee ballots were cast by Friday, said Town Clerk Barbara Serfilippi.
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Voting is from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and also includes races for U.S. Senate, Congress, state Senate and state representative.
All polling places are the same as usual. District I voters vote at East Ridge Middle School; District II and IV voters cast their ballots at Scotts Ridge Middle School; District III voters vote at Yanity Gym.
You can find out your voting place by visiting ridgefieldct.org, going to Departments, then Registars Office, and looking for the “Am I registered? Where do I vote?” link.
In the presidential race, Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and running mate Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan are on the top of the ballot hoping to oust Democratic President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden.
President Obama made history by becoming the first black president, and also by becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Ridgefield’s vote since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
Also running for president are Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, who is a former governor of New Mexico, and running mate Jim P. Gray, a California judge.
The state’s Independent Party line includes presidential candidate Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson, former mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, and author Luis J. Rodriguez.
On Friday, there were 16,971 voters registered, which does not include the many people who had submitted cards that had not been processed yet.
“As of now we’ll probably be at 17,100,” Ms. Bruno said Friday afternoon.
Of the 16,971 processed then there were:
• 6,199, 37%, Republican.
• 5,972, 35%, unaffiliated.
• 4,673, 28%, Democrat.
• 126, less than 1%, “other.”
Aside from the presidential race, which brings the most voters to the polls, there is the Senate race between 5th District Democratic Congressman Chris Murphy and Greenwich television wrestling executive Linda McMahon.
Jeff Bonistalli is a new face in Ridgefield politics. The Democratic candidate, known around town for his work in youth activities and athletics, is challenging longtime Republican state Rep. John Frey, a Ridgefield Realtor. They’re battling for the 111th General Assembly District, which includes most of Ridgefield.
The 111th used to represent all of Ridgefield, but when district lines were redrawn after the 2010 census, the 138th, which includes parts of New Fairfield and Danbury, was extended south to include the portion of Ridgefield north of George Washington Highway. Those are voting District IV voters.
Incumbent Republican Janice Giegler is unopposed in her race to represent the 138th. Ms. Giegler is on the ballot twice, cross-endorsed by the Republican Party and the Independent Party.
Westport Democrat Carolanne Curry has challenged longtime Republican state Sen. Toni Boucher for the 26th District seat, which includes Ridgefield as well as Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.
Republican Steve Obsitnik is challenging two-term Democratic Congressman Jim Himes, who is seeking a third term representing the 4th District.
Voters should remember to bring identification.
Non-registered voters may even cast presidential ballots that are for that race only.
They may do so in the town clerk’s office at Town Hall. In 2008, about 123 voters voted that way, and Ms. Bruno expects a similar number this year.
“This is the last year you have that — the ‘presidential ballot,’” Ms. Bruno said. “It’s strictly president.”
“If someone turns 18 between Oct. 31 and Nov. 5 they may register in the registrars office on Nov. 5,” Ms. Bruno said. “It’s also true if they moved to town in that period or became a citizen, but you have to bring proof of that.”