NORWALK, Conn. – Voter turnout was brisk at the polls Tuesday morning in Norwalk, as residents cast ballots for state and national candidates.
Several hundred Norwalk residents still were without power Tuesday following last week’s storm, but all of the city’s 12 voting locations were in operation.
At Fox Run School on Fillow Street in West Norwalk, a voting location that serves one of the city’s harder hit areas by Hurricane Sandy, a line of nearly 100 people waited outside the school at 6 a.m. when polls opened, according to moderator Michael Prall.
“We had about 150 people vote in the first 10 minutes,” Prall said. “And since then, it’s been a steady stream of people.”
By 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, 1,235 people had voted at Fox Run out of about 4,300 registered voters in the district, or about 29 percent.
Turnout also appeared steady Tuesday at the Ponus Ridge Middle School voting site on Hunters Lane and the St. Mary's Parish Center on West Avenue.
“Things have been going well. There haven’t been any problems,” Prall said.
Outside of the polling site, Republican State Rep. Larry Cafero, who is seeking his 11th term, and his Democratic opponent Kate Tepper warmly greeted voters despite the cold temperatures. Also at the school shaking hands with voters was Joanne Duff, the mother of Democratic State Sen. Bob Duff.
“The weather’s nice and people are anxious to vote,” Cafero said. As befitting an official who knows the people of his district, both the men and women Cafero greeted received hugs and kisses on the cheek, particularly former Norwalk Mayor Frank Esposito and his wife, Louise.
“I won’t make any predictions, but I’ve been coming to this school for a long time. It’s not like 2008 when people were happy, but I’m sensing a quiet determination,” Cafero said.
For Ak Habib, that determination came in the form of voting for the first time. The 60-something resident said he became a U.S. citizen only two years ago after emigrating from Tanzania.
Joanne Duff shook his hand and congratulated him on his accomplishment.
“Bob Duff is your son? I see him on the television,” Habib said.
Habib then turned to hustle into the school because besides voting he had another job to do. “I have to vote first because I have to understand how to do it. I have to take my mother to the polls in South Norwalk. She’s 85 and became a U.S. citizen, too.”