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by Sharon Rondeau

Photo: Sharon Rondeau, taken October 30, 2018

(Nov. 6, 2018) — At approximately 10:30 AM on Tuesday, the line in which voters in Canterbury, CT had to wait to cast their ballots stretched from the side entrance of the town hall community room to the back of the room, an estimated 30 feet and unprecedented occurrence for this voter.

The line then doubled back for about 15 feet.

Canterbury, which had an estimated population of 5,075 last year, is located in rural southeastern Connecticut where many people know one another.  There is one gas station/convenience store.  However, one does not go hungry with three restaurants, all located in close proximity to what could be considered the town center.

There is one bank but two package (liquor) stores.  A single elementary school is the extent of public and private education for all young children. Students beyond grade 5 must attend middle school and high school in another town.

Normally when this writer has arrived to vote, there has been no line, virtually no wait time, and not even the hint of a crowd through which to wade to drop one’s ballot in the optical scanner along the far wall near the exit door. This time, however, one had to cut through the line of voters awaiting their turn to identify themselves before casting their votes.

Both as we arrived and exited, residents flocked into the building, some with young children in strollers; some holding the hands of older preschool children; the elderly, retired, and working-age adults, some with school-aged children.

Connecticut residents this year are choosing a new governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, Secretary of the State, Comptroller, Treasurer, and all state senators and representatives.  One U.S. Senate seat is on the ballot, as are all five U.S. House of Representatives seats.

There are also two constitutional amendment proposals, already approved by the state legislature, on the ballot associated with the custody and use of state funds.

Connecticut does not have “early voting.”  Polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

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