Woodbridge 2012 U.S. Senate Primary Results
On Tuesday, 380 Republicans and 491 Democrats voted in Woodbridge. On the Republican side, Linda McMahon beat Chris Shays 231 to 149 votes. On the Democratic side, Chris Murphy defeated Susan Bysiewicz with 395 votes to her 96 votes. If the story ended there, it would be a very short blog post. However, there are little tidbits here and there that make the story more interesting.
I put up signs for Chris Murphy and spoke with voters early in the morning before work, and in the evening after work. I also had a good discussion with Republicans that were supporting Chris Shays. We shared a common concern about the low turnout, but had different views about how best to address it. One Republican even suggested that perhaps too many people had the right to vote, noting that the founding fathers limited voting to male land owners. He noted that black men received the right to vote before women did.
We can increase the percentage of voters turning out to vote different ways. One is to increase the numerator, another is to decrease the denominator. I would rather see more people vote.
One item of interest to me was the details on the wall about voting turnout. Every hour, the poll workers in Woodbridge would update sheets on the wall about how many people voted. From this, you could find out interesting information, like that 37% of the voters came in the last three hours.
Since I am running for State Representative in the 114th Assembly District which includes all of Woodbridge, as well as parts of Derby and Orange, I headed over to the other polling places in the district to see what was going on as I think about poll standing in November. I looked for a similar list of how many voters had shown up by hour in these other locations. No such list was available.
In Derby, people asked why I would want such information and only reluctantly gave me details. In Orange, one of the poll workers casually provided me an approximate number. It was disappointing and perhaps contributed to the poor showings in Orange and Derby.
More municipalities should follow the example of Woodbridge and make voter turnout information throughout the day much more available.