Voter Turnout Appears to be Very High, with Long Lines Early in West Hartford [Updated 6:00 p.m.]

By mid-afternoon, lines seemed to have subsided, but could grow again when the after-work voters head to the polls.

[UPDATED 6 p.m.]

West Hartford voters appear to be turning out in full force for the 2012 presidential election, and that fact plus the consolidation of polling places and the manner in which the voting books were split up caused long lines and frustration early in the day. 

Both the Republican and Democratic registrars said that the system had been "stressed" by the turnout, but that the presence of additional checkers at each polling place by midday, and splitting of the voter books which was authorized by noon by the Secretary of the State's office, was helping to correct the problem.

Although some frustrated voters refused to wait in long lines and returned later in the day, others commented on Facebook that they felt that a wait was okay for the privilege to vote.

The evening rush appears to be going smoothly at most polling places, with reports of five to 15 minutes. There are still complaints about the crowd flow at Hall, where many complained about voting in a "closet-sized" space.

Earlier in the afternoon, West Hartford Town Council Minority Leader Denise Hall was holding signs for Republican candidates outside Braeburn Elementary School with her husband Tom. "It's a nice day. I'm glad we've had so many people come out and vote," she said.

Hall was disturbed by a comment made earlier by a voter. "Someone came up to me and said, 'You should be ashamed of yourself.' I'm very disappointed that people don't think we should have a two-party system in this country," said Hall.

Bluma Weinbaum was also holding a sign outside Braeburn. "I'm very proud of him. My son wants to make a difference," she said, pointing to her son, 20th District Rep. Brian Becker.

Scott Murphy was also holding a sign for his son. The father of U.S. Senate candidate Chris Murphy was outside West Hartford Town Hall.

[UPDATED] 11:30 a.m.

All that anyone can talk about in West Hartford are the lines at the polling places. Resident Gary Holmes even created an original graphic for it.

Waits have been reportedly as long as an hour, with most comments on West Hartford Patch's Facebook page indicating at least 15-30 minutes at various polling places.

According to the registrars office, both Eleanor Brazell (Republican Registrar) and Carolyn Thornberry (Democratic Registrar) are presently meeting with Secretary of State Denise Merrill, discussing the situation.

Check back for updates. Please let us know your experiences in the comments.



Good morning, and welcome to Election Day 2012!

Today, West Hartford residents go to the polls to choose a president, a U.S. Senator, a U.S. Representative from the First District, a state Senator from the Fifth District and state Representatives from the 18th, 19th, and 20th District.

See below for information on where to go to cast your ballot and the list of candidates. We've also included how West Hartford voted in 2008, the year of the last presidential election, and in 2010, the last mid-term election.

Read it over, then visit your local polling station between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. to make your voice heard! And be sure to check back with Patch for updates throughout the day, including the announcement of the winners as soon as votes are tallied.

West Hartford Polling Stations

  • District #1 - King Philip Middle School, 100 King Philip Drive
  • District #2 - Bristow Middle School, 34 Highland Street
  • District #3 - West Hartford Town Hall, 50 South Main Street
  • District #4 - Elmwood Community Center, 1106 New Britain Avenue
  • District #5 - Wolcott School, 71 Wolcott Road
  • District #6 - Conard High School, 110 Beechwood Road
  • District #7 - Sedgwick Middle School, 128 Sedgwick Road
  • District #8 - Braeburn School, 45 Braeburn Road
  • District #9 - Hall High School, 975 North Main Street

Voters can find out if they are registered to vote and their new polling place at the Secretary of State's "Look Up" site at: www.dir.ct.gov/sots/lookup.aspx. You must be registered to vote in West Hartford in order to vote in the upcoming November election.

How West Hartford Voted in 2008 (84% Turnout)

(D=Democrat; R=Republican; G=Green; I=Independent; WF=Working Families; CL=Connecticut for Lieberman)


  • Obama-Biden (D) — 23,576 votes
  • McCain-Palin (R) — 10,021 votes


  • John B. Larson (D) — 20,986 votes
  • Joe Visconti (R) — 8,212 votes


  • Jonathan Harris (D) — 21,779 votes (1,878 Working Families votes)
  • Joseph Merritt (R) — 7,889 votes


  • Andrew Fleischmann (D) — 7,530 votes (558 Working Families votes)
  • Thomas Knox (R) — 2,938 votes


  • Beth Bye (D) — 6,959 votes
  • Theresa McGrath (R) — 3,524 votes


  • David McCluskey (D) — 7,278 votes
  • Chad Thompson (R) — 2,370 votes

How West Hartford Voted in 2010 (67% Turnout)

(D=Democrat; R=Republican; G=Green; I=Independent; WF=Working Families; CL=Connecticut for Lieberman; SA=Socialist Action)


  • Richard Blumenthal (D) — 15,936 votes
  • Linda McMahon (R) — 8,590 votes


  • John B. Larson (D) — 15,758 votes (729 Working Families votes)
  • Ann Brickley (R) — 8,370 votes


  • Beth Bye (D) — 16,389 votes (812 Working Families votes)
  • Joseph Merritt (R) — 8,029 votes


  • Andrew Fleischmann (D) — 5,784 votes (305 Working Families votes)
  • Ethan Goldman (R) — 2,790 votes


  • Brian Becker (D) — 4,840 votes
  • Denise Berard Hall (R) — 3,780 votes


  • David McCluskey (D) — 5,392 votes
  • John Kilian (CL) — 507 votes
  • Ellen Burchill Brassil (Petitioning) — 528 votes


*Numbers provided by the Secretary of State's Office.

Tamara Cohen November 06, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Donna Haghighat November 06, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Decided to write myself in as a candidate for registrar of voters after the debacle in West Hartford today. After the third time of going to Braeburn, I finally voted in 15 minutes, but some of those minutes were spent arguing with the poll worker who questioned the validity of my CT Driver's License because it had the DMV sanctioned change of address filled out on the back of the license. First she demanded an additional ID with my address and then after I told her that in at least 3 years of voting with this license no one questioned it and I wasn't going to product one, she told me that I needed to get a new license but that she would let me through. I told her I wasn't about to get a new license until mine expired in 2013.
Judi Houpert November 07, 2012 at 12:07 AM
At 6:15 we entered the line at Bristow. We stood in line for a half hour with others who have the misfortune to live on streets starting with letters C-M. Those on streets A-B and N-Z were able to literally walk in and vote without waiting at all. To add insult to injury the N-Z line had three workers who were sitting there with nothing to do. One worker was crocheting!! I had tried to vote at 7:30 this morning, but was told the line was an hour long and I had to leave to get to work. I am very concerned about how this will disenfranchise voters. Why didn't the town try out these new polling places in a non-Presidential year? Why couldn't the book be split further when it became apparent that there was inequity. Finally, why is it not allowed for a child to slide his/her parent's ballot into the machine? My children have fond memories of pulling the big lever with me in the old voting booths.
Nanci Wylde November 07, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Carolyn Thornberry will no longer get my vote. For anything she is running for.
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