By Elizabeth Saint
“Something so simple has such a big impact.” Michael Vernon, first time voter.
Stratford’s election day was noted for “Early Lines,” “Lots of first time voters,” a “Constant stream of voters,” “mask wearing and social distancing being followed” “as well as Very smooth and safe.”
The Stratford Crier toured many polling stations in the town of Stratford.
Here is what we heard and saw:
District 1: Lordship Elementary School
Election Moderator, Michael Rodriguez reported that at 5:15am there were already 50 to 60 people in line waiting for the doors to open. “Things have been going smoothly.”
District 2: Stratford High School
There was not coverage of District 2 due to technical difficulties.
District: 3: Stratford Academy; Johnson House
Election Moderator, Robert Bradley said “We had about 25 people lined up to vote when I got here at 5:15.”
Johnson School, which is in District 3, reported that 70% of their registered voters had voted by 2 p.m.
District 4: The Franklin School
Voter, Ray Hess reported it took “about six minutes” from parking his car to casting his vote.
District 5: Nichols Elementary
At 10:19am there were approximately 36 people in line wrapping around the school. The line moved efficiently and the mood was positive.
Tiaire Lee said it was his first time voting in a Presidential election. “It took about twenty minutes and it was pretty easy.”
Diana Kosa, planned ahead and brought her own chair.
District 6: Wooster
Judy Cleri, Election Moderator reported lines of voters ready at 6am and wrapping around the building. The line flowed constantly, with lots of new voters, even creating a need for double lines until about 8:30am, when things began to slow.”
District 7: Wilcoxson Elementary
Election Moderator, Elizabeth Christiansen reported being busy all morning. “Right now we are in a lull.” She said, even as voters arrived in a steady trickle. “People started standing in line at 5:30am. The line finally dissipated at 8:30am. Everyone has been fine.
District 8 — Chapel Street School
One couple, when asked about their voting experience said. “ It was wonderful. We didn’t even wait a minute.”
Father, Mark Vernon accompanied his son, Michael Vernon, who is 19 years old, to the polls for his first experience voting in a Presidential election. When asked how it felt, Michael said, “Filling in the ballot is a little underwhelming. You are just filling in a circle. But you remember that doing something so simple has such a big impact.”
Assorted organizations saw election day as an opportunity. At the Chapel Street School, the Sixth grade class was hosting a bake sale to raise money for end-of-sixth grade awards and picnics. “We don’t know how it’s going to be this year but we are hopeful.” one sixth grade mother said.
Enthusiastic sellers included: (from left to right)
District 9: Bunnell High School
Everything was quiet with single voters arriving every few minutes. However, Malcolm Starratt, the Election Moderator, said the day didn’t start that way. “At six am the line went up back along the side of the school. And they kept coming till about 8:30am. It was just packed.
Then it started tapering down but it has been consistent all day.” “What I’m hearing”, said Starratt, “is that all the districts had powerful mornings.”
Starratt has been an Election Moderator for about 18 years.
“We’ve got a great team.” He said, “A great team that works well together” — referring to the women and men working the Bunnell High School polling station.
“I’ve never done this with a mask before. It’s a different thing. Everyone has had a mask. Everyone was keeping a social distance. It’s been nice. We haven’t had to tell anyone to wear a mask. It’s the biggest round of people I’ve seen. It’s big.”
District 10: Second Hill Lane
This morning there was a line of approximately 47 people.
Beth Kardamis reported that the experience was a positive one. That it felt very “smooth and safe.”
Joyce Varrone (pictured here with her “I Voted” sticker) reported that she arrived at 10:50 and took her almost exactly 20 minutes to vote. “It didn’t take that long.”