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Polls a little busier in East Lyme where a familar name is on ballot

By Alex Nunes

Publication: theday.com

Published August 14. 2012 7:00AM   Updated August 15. 2012 12:16AM
Sean D. Elliot/The Day
Poll worker Randy Pelkey checks a voter's ID in Democratic and Republican primaries Tuesday at Juliet Long School in Gales Ferry.

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Yes. I have a candidate I plan on voting for.
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No. I will wait for November.
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Number of votes: 36

One exception to low voter turnout seems to be East Lyme, where First Selectman Paul Formica is on the ballot.

Formica is running against Daria Novak of Madison in a GOP primary for the right to take on Rep. Joe Courtney.

David Houseman, an electrical contractor, said he was "disgusted" with the country's current situation and was impressed by Formica's business background.

"I think that's what we need," Houseman said. "We need people that know how things operate."

As of noon, the town was reporting 581 total voters or a 9 percent turnout, but with a 13 percent turnout on the Republican side and six percent on the Democratic side, according to Nancy Moran, registrar of voters.

"Today is about average but because it is warm today we might get more people later on," Moran said.

In April, the town saw 4.8 percent turnout by noon for the Republican presidential primary. In 2008, turnout in East Lyme was 19 percent by noon for the Democratic and Republican presidential primary.

Turnout was lighter in Norwich and New London.

At the John B. Stanton School, where residents of Norwich's fourth precinct cast their ballot, there has been an ebb and flow voters.

As of 12:38 p.m., 249 out of 2,751 eligible voters made their voices heard.

"It's been steady but not overwhelming," said Patrice Jaskiewicz, a moderator. "It's a primary you know."

She said out of the city's five precincts the fourth has had the highest turnout so far.

New London was experiencing the same light turnout.

"It's a primary so we don't expect a big turnout," said Susan Satti, a polling official in the city's third district. "We'll see; things could pick up."

Polls opened at 6 a.m. and 15 minutes later only five people had voted. Voting in that district is taking place at Ocean Beach Park because the Nathan Hale Elementary School is under construction.

One Republican voter, who declined to give his name, said he voted for WWE mogul and Republican hopeful Linda McMahon, who is vying for the U.S. Senate seat of Joe Lieberman, the Democrat who is retiring.

"I think she got what it takes to beat any of the Democratic contenders," the voter said.

Voting in the city's second district at the Harbor School was even worse. Twenty minutes after polls opened only one person had voted.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said today that there are a total of 1,137,580 registered Democrats and Republicans who are eligible to vote.

Polls close at 8 p.m.

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