Record low voter turnout expected in Waterbury

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — One of the polling places in Waterbury sat empty for a majority of Election Day. There were more volunteers helping to run things at the Maloney School than voters, and the emptiness experienced there was felt at other places too.

During the day, Waterbury was on track to set a city record for low voter turnout.

“We may see historic lows like somewhere around 13 percent or lower,” said Timothy DeCarlo, Waterbury Registrar of Voters.

Waterbury residents have their theories as to why this happened.

Alyssa Franklin didn’t vote because she doesn’t trust politicians.

“Because I feel like the votes don’t really go up to us like they’re gonna vote whatever they want regardless,” she said.

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Jose Vazquez didn’t vote either.

“It’s corrupted out here and everybody knows that,” he said.

Even a woman in a group carrying political signs and yelling for drivers passing by to stop and vote heard a lot of cynicism when it comes to Election Day.

“Everybody that I was talking to this morning — they’re talking about because what’s going on with the state — the Democrats and Republicans — they say they don’t believe in them anymore,” said Carmen Rodriguez, who did vote today.

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But, the registrar says he believes a big change to the system directly effected the numbers.

“There was a referendum back in 2014 that gave the mayor a 4-year term,” DeCarlo said. “Now, the the mayor has a 4-year term this is the first time that the aldermen and the Board of Education as well with the city clerk and city sheriff are running without the mayor at the top of the ticket.”

Probate Judge is also up for grabs — and therein lies the answer as far as the man who helped to run The Maloney School polling place is concerned.

“Maybe a lot of people don’t understand what probate judge or alderman actually means to them and if they’re not understanding what it actually means to them there’s no motivation to come out,” said Glenn Richardson.

At the end of the day, the few who did vote in Waterbury will have their voices heard. Democracy decided by the few, the proud, voters.

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