Patriotism is “devotion to one’s country,” and there is no more patriotic act than exercising our right to vote. It has been said that voting is the language of American democracy.
Here in Woodbridge, we can be proud of the robust turnout on Election Day. The high percentages were pretty consistent among Democrats, at 71.67% (of 2633 eligible voters), and Republicans, at 72.76% (of 1160 eligible voters).
We are also proud of our Woodbridge neighbors who run our elections with integrity and dedication. They meticulously follow all applicable laws, rules and procedures and they work together in a faultless, non-partisan way. I think I can speak for all Woodbridge residents in expressing our gratitude to:
- Town Clerk Stephanie Ciarleglio;
- Democratic Registrar of Voters Pennell Hamilton;
- Republican Registrar of Voters Anna Dickerson;
- Democratic Deputy Registrar of Voters Alison Valsemis;
- Republican Deputy Registrar of Voters Javier Aviles;
- Head Moderator Pat Madden;
- Absentee Ballot Moderator Mary Lee Barker;
- Moderator Leslie Lyons;
and the many other poll workers who made our Election Day process run without a hitch!
Many of us didn’t realize that there were 3 separate voting operations going on simultaneously. At the Center Gym, there was the highly organized in-person voting, divided as required, into 2 districts (the 14th and 17th state senatorial districts). In the library meeting room, registrars set up Election Day Registration, where 49 new voters registered and were able to vote. They included new citizens and young people voting for the first time. And at Town Hall, another group of trained staff were receiving absentee ballots delivered by the Town Clerk, following the careful inspection procedures, and feeding the ballots into the tabulator.
Another remarkable aspect of voting here in Woodbridge is our IVS voting machines. These machines allow voters with disabilities to fill out their ballots with dignity, privacy, and ease. The technology allows for touchscreen voting and button switch voting, provides an audio version of the ballot for visually impaired voters, and more.
Standing outside the polling place at the Woodbridge Democratic Town Committee tent, we welcomed friends old and new, children and babies. We could feel the sense of community that is so important in our Town.
The results of the election were heartening as well. There were stark differences between the values and goals of the Democratic and Republican candidates. The strong margins of support for the entire Democratic slate meant supporting public education and our teachers and librarians; guarding the private relationship between women and their doctors; believing in science and the need to address climate change; enacting common sense gun laws; protecting Social Security and Medicare, and respecting the dignity and the rights of all people. And the State Constitutional Amendment that would expand voting opportunities through early in-person voting passed handily.
Congratulations to Governor Lamont and all the State Constitutional officers: LG Susan Bysiewicz, Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas, Attorney General William Tong, Comptroller Sean Scanlon, & Treasurer Erick Russel; US Senator Richard Blumenthal and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro; and State Representative Mary Welander, State Senator Jorge Cabrera and State Senator James Maroney!
We are grateful for these outstanding public servants. And as we think about giving thanks, the Thanksgiving holiday is just ahead. I want to remind you about the annual Thanksgiving Interfaith Community Service that this year will be held at the First Church of Christ on Meetinghouse Lane. It will be on Monday, November 21st at 7PM, with a reception immediately following the service in the Church parish hall.
If you are interested in learning more about the Woodbridge Democratic Town Committee, please get in touch with us by emailing us at: email@example.com or visit our website: woodbridgeCTdems.org.
This is an opinion piece.