Web Sites, Documents and Articles >> Hartford Courant  News Articles >

Primary Voter Turnout: Sad Sad Sad

Helen Ubiñas

August 11, 2010

Looks like Connecticut voters missed the memo – not to mention the big money ads – about this being one of the most important primaries in years.

Early in the day, crickets seemed to be the resounding sound at some polling places.

And as the day wore on, it didn't get much better at some sites.

Three hours before polls closed, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, reported an average turnout of about 20 percent.

Bysiewicz had originally projected a higher turnout than the 43 percent in the August 2006 primary between Democrats Ned Lamont and Joseph I. Lieberman. But candidates realized early on that that wasn't going to happen.

"When you consider the state-wide primaries and all the money spent, it's surprising," said Hartford Councilman Matt Ritter, who was running against state House of Representative Ken Green.

Over at Kennelly School, state Rep. Hector Robles sometimes looked downright lonely as he waited to greet phantom voters in his run against opponent Alyssa Peterson.

Only 304 Democratic voters at Kennelly, tweeted Hartford resident Emily Gianquinto. "Sad sad sad," said Gianquinto, who took an early morning flight back from San Franciso just to vote in the primary.

And outside Hartford Seminary, some young campaign workers were trying to figure out how to get an abundance of candidate literature into voter's hands.

But candidate disappointment over low voter turnout was nothing compared to the frustration – make that anger – expressed by campaign workers for gubernatorial hopeful Ned Lamont.

Outside United Methodist Church of Hartford, Kimberly Byrd and other Lamont campaign workers were steaming mad when they learned they'd be paid with debit cards instead of cash.

"You see this man right here," Byrd said, pointing to Lamont's name on the T-shirt she'd just taken off in disgust. "He tricked us."

Justine Sessions, a spokesperson for Lamont, said she has no idea where workers would have gotten the impression that they'd be paid in cash.

"Reimbursing volunteers with debit cards has been our policy since the beginning of campaign," Sessions said. Most campaigns, she added, use the cards.

But campaign workers weren't hearing it. They insisted they were duped.

Byrd said she was depending on the "cash" money for bills.

"I can't pay any light bill with this card," she said.

"You can bet he's not getting my vote now," she added. "No way. He's a liar."


Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
Powered by Hartford Public Library  

Includes option to search related Hartford sites.

Advanced Search
Search Tips

Can't Find It? Have a Question?