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Poll Locations, Power Outage Not Slowing Voting

Election day proceeding as usual despite issues.

Update at  2 p.m.:

The polls at the Farmington Police Department were also running smoothly, with about 600 people having voted by 1:30 p.m.

The number is not unusual, poll workers said.

"It's about average turnout. We've had busy times abut I'd say it's been steady," said Moderator Bobbie Beyer.

At West Woods Upper Elementary, a police electronic billboard was posted in front of the school directing any voters who hadn't heard of the poll change. Democratic committee members had also posted signs in the East Farms area, advising voters to head to Irving A Robbins Middle School.

Update at noon:

At Irving A Robbins Middle School, which was also open for West Woods voting, poll workers have created a neat system. One of the gym's doors leads IAR voters to their check-in station and voting booths. The second door leads West Woods voters to their side, which is roped off with a small fence and keeps the two areas distinct.

"We're doing fine," said Moderator Ann Newbury. "The areas are neatly defined and separated."

Nearly 100 voters had cast their ballot by noon on the West Woods side but as the town's smallest polling place, it's hard to tell if residents didn't get the word - given at 6 p.m. Monday  - about where to vote.

"It's a pretty normal turnout for a municipal election," said Bruce Fernandez, who was working the polls. "It's a little lower than if there were a hotly contested issue but it seems steady."

More than 550 votes had been cast on the IAR side at noon.

But lack of signage early on at West Woods might have been a problem. One voter said she went to the school just after 6 a.m. and didn't see a sign, only that the school was closed, and didn't know where to go.

Original story 10 a.m.:

It's election day, though 26 percent of the town is without power, and voting seems to be running smoothly, despite some small changes in polling places.

Because West Woods Upper Elementary School has no power, those who normally vote there are today casting their ballot at Irving A. Robbins Middle School. Farmington High School voters are voting at Town Hall and Community Center voters are going to the Police Department.

And there seems to be a steady stream.

At Town Hall more than 300 residents had voted by 10:30 a.m. in the somewhat crowded quarters of the lobby. Poll workers were directing voters to voting stations around the information office and sometimes finding too few stations with little room to wait.

"Things have gone pretty well because we did get power back," said Democratic Registrar Barbara Brenneman.

And voters there agreed too.

"I'm making it fine. I knew it was in the vicinity and I saw all the people standing there," said Laurie McElroy, who usually votes at the high school.

Ron Simmons, who runs the Simmons Family Farm with his wife Robin found the polls but was slightly disappointed.

"It's a little upsetting that it's here and not in the usual spot. There's not much room and there's no Girl Scout cookies," he said.

Though there were no Girl Scouts to be seen at Town Hall, Boy Scout Troop 170 was setting up a table to sell wreaths. The lengthy power outage has wreaked havoc with sales the troop uses to fund its activities. Voting day usually puts the them over their goal, but this year they right now stand 300 orders behind.

"We're hoping today's going to be successful," said Cindy Vallario. "We're giving away candy just to raise people's spirits."

And though the lengthy power outage was still on everyone's mind, it was not what was directing their votes, several residents said.

"We're voting mostly just because we think we should," said Joyce Cruess, with her husband Ed. "The process of voting is important for good citizens."

Amy Rosenfield November 08, 2011 at 04:49 PM
Girl scouts will be at Stop and Shop! Today and this weekend
Kaitlin Glanzer (Editor) November 08, 2011 at 07:33 PM
There are also Girl Scouts at the police department.
Jane Paquet November 09, 2011 at 04:26 AM
Got some yummy Thin Mint cookies from the very polite Girl Scouts at the Police Station poll today :)

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