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    Tuesday, July 23, 2024

    Groton City holds local elections for the first time in November

    John Irace, 3, looks on as his mother Laura fills out her ballot as the polls open early Tuesday morning at City of Groton Municipal Building on Nov. 7, 2023. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Poll Workers Elizabeth Lutz, right, and Carole Bishop check in a voter as the polls open early Tuesday morning at City of Groton Municipal Building on Nov. 7, 2023. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Groton residents, from left, Bill Furgueson running for Groton Town Council, Joe de la Cruz, Christine McElroy, running for Groton RTM and Jill Rusk, running for Groton Town Council, chat outside the City of Groton Municipal Building as the polls open on Nov. 7, 2023. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Groton ― The city on Tuesday held its elections for the first time in November.

    In an uncontested election that featured all Democrats, City Mayor Keith Hedrick was elected to a fourth term. Incumbents Gweneviere Depot, Stephen Sheffield, Paul Norris, and Christine Piazza, along with newcomers Erin Artale and Tony Patterson, were elected to the City Council. The terms are for two-years.

    Dani Baycura, who was appointed to fill the vacant city clerk post in April, was elected to a four-year city clerk term.

    The city historically held elections in May, but a recent state law requires that all municipal elections be held in November, unless the council opts to keep elections in May.

    The city is a subdivision of the Town of Groton. City voters cast ballots for both city and town races.

    Signs at the city’s two polling places at Thames River Magnet School and the Municipal Building explained that voters would receive two ballots, and two clerks were hired to hand out ballots.

    Outside the Municipal Building, Town Historian Jim Streeter said keeping the elections in May would have meant less confusion, particularly in years when there is a referendum. But City Councilor Stephen Sheffield said November elections will help increase voter turnout.

    Resident Michael Lelievre, a senior who got a ride to the polls, said it was more convenient to have the town and city elections on the same day.

    “I thought it was nice just to get it all done in one shot,” he said.

    k.drelich@theday.com

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