Those eagerly anticipating Ridgefield’s Election Day results better pick up a good book because it’s going to be a long night.
The Registrar of Voters has reported ballot machine problems at two of the town’s three polling stations — Yanity and Scotts Ridge Middle School.
According to First Selectman Rudy Marconi, around 2,000 ballots at Scotts Ridge have yet to be counted. The figure at Yanity is close to 1,900 ballots.
Although no exact timetable has been given yet, the registrar’s office believes ballot counts won’t be completed until at least 10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6. Official results could take even longer to be reported.
The town’s other polling station, East Ridge Middle School, has not reported any ballot machine problems yet, but the school’s parking lot was still full as of 8 p.m. — the official poll closing time.
As many as 4,100 ballots were cast at the East Ridge polling station alone. By comparison, 5,256 ballots were cast in last year’s municipal election — 28.9% of the town’s 18,419 registered voters.
Total election turnout in 2014 — the last governor’s race — was 57% in town. In the similar election previous to that, 2010, Ridgefield turnout was 64%.
Turnout is highest in presidential election years, such as 2016 (79%) and 2012 (82%).
‘Line out the door’
Ridgefield saw a huge turnout for the 2018 election. Voters who turned out at Yanity around 9:30 a.m. had to wait on lines that extended out of the gymnasium’s door. It took some residents as long as 15 to 20 minutes to get through the lines and submit their ballots.
Some residents on the town’s Facebook page commented that it was busiest they’ve seen the polls in town — even busier than presidential elections.
“Everyone I was talking to said that it was a higher turnout than a presidential election,” said Russ Porter, moderator of for district one (East Ridge Middle School). “When we opened this morning, there was a line out the door.”
Other residents said the parking lot was so full at Yanity that people were parking on the grass and mud.
Planning and Zoning Commission Chairwoman Rebecca Mucchetti observed the strong turnout at the polls earlier this morning.
“Had to wait in a line of about 50-60 people this morning to vote,” she said around 12:30 p.m. “First time ever in 25 years of voting in Ridgefield … Richard [Baldelli] reported 30 minutes ago that the line at Yanity was out the door.”