Stratford Post Election Edition
By Jim Simon
Your place to get Election questions answered in Stratford
Q: Did more people vote in Stratford this year than usual?
You have to compare apples to apples. In 2021, 36.3 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in Stratford, up from 33.3 percent in the last mayoral election in 2017.
But 72 percent of registered voters cast a ballot last year in the presidential election, which always attracts more voters.
Q: Do people still write-in the names of “candidates” like Mickey Mouse, Santa Claus, or their husband?
A: In Connecticut, we don’t count write-in votes unless a person officially registers ahead of time as a write-in candidate. Nobody in Stratford registered as a write-in, so we have no official count.
During three election recounts held Nov. 4, I saw thousands of recounted ballots from Districts 3, 5 and 6. I don’t recall seeing many – if any — write-in votes.
Q: Did most Stratford voters use Absentee Ballots in 2021?
A: About 17% of the votes cast Nov. 2nd – some 2,159 votes out of a total of 12,865 – were from people using Absentee Ballots. Public records show 1,139 came from registered Democrats, 336 from Republicans, 670 from Unaffiliated voters, and 14 from those registered with a minor party.
Given the strong GOP showing, the 3-1 Democratic edge suggests the relaxed rules on ABs did NOT significantly increase Democratic turnout. Instead, many Democrats may have simply voted early instead of going to the polls Nov. 2nd.
Q: Can you really register to vote on Election Day, and then immediately cast a ballot?
A: Connecticut law mandates that every town must offer Election Day Registration (EDR). In Stratford, you can come to Town Hall, show a photo ID and proof of residency, fill out paperwork, and then cast a ballot at Town Hall regardless of where you live in town. Some 23 town residents took advantage of the option — out of 12,865 votes cast. Only EDR voters can cast a ballot at Town Hall.
Q: Are there really twice as many registered Democrats in town as Republicans?
A: As of Nov. 17, 2021, there were 13,348 registered Democrats and 6,351 Republicans, almost a perfect 2-1 ratio. But there also are 15,260 Unaffiliated voters, and in the 2021 mayoral election, they appeared to largely support the Republican incumbent Mayor Laura Hoydick. (There also are 480 voters registered with one of the minor political parties.)
REMINDER: “Independent” is the name of an official political party in Connecticut. If you don’t want to be affiliated with a formal party, you must register as “Unaffiliated”. You can check your current party status at: https://portaldir.ct.gov/sots/LookUp.aspx If you want to change your status, contact us at Registrar@townofstratford.com
Stratford Registrar James Simon, (D), worked as a political reporter for 10 years with The Associated Press, then taught courses like political journalism for 18 years as a professor and dean at Fairfield University. He was elected as the Democratic Registrar of Voters in Stratford in November 2020.
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This is not an official publication of the Town of Stratford