Weston had no problems like they did in nearby Ridgefield, which didn’t announce its ballot results until the next day because of discrepancies between the number of people counted as coming in to vote, and the number of votes that were cast.
Weston was able to post its final results by midnight the same night — but barely.
With 5,536 votes cast, representing 81.5% of the electorate, the polling place was busy all day. At noon, 36% of registered Weston voters had cast their ballots, with as many as nearly 500 people voting in one hour. There were about 800 absentee ballots as well.
With all that traffic and a tight presidential election in the balance, there were a few problems at the polls.
Some residents from other towns thought they were still registered to vote in Weston, but they weren’t, so they were advised to go to the towns where they lived.
Young people came to the polls to vote for the first time and did not realize they had to register first. But they weren’t shut out completely from voting. Connecticut has very open and inclusive voting laws, so Weston residents who weren’t registered could at least cast Presidential ballots for the presidential portion of the election.
A number of residents who were registered to vote in Weston but did not bring identification with them were allowed to vote by filling out a Form ED-681e acknowledging their name and residence, according to Election Moderator W. Glenn Major.
One resident took the time to vote but then handed the filled-out ballot to Mr. Major and asked that the vote not be counted. Mr. Major complied and said the ballot was not included in the final tally.
The most dramatic moment of the day occurred in the afternoon when a woman fell outside in the parking lot on her way to vote. Election officials quickly tended to the woman and brought her a ballot for “curbside” voting before she was taken for medical treatment.
After the polls closed at 8 p.m., the unofficial numbers were quickly announced, and it was soon learned that Weston had sided with the state and country in voting in favor of President Barack Obama.
But the election work was far from over, according to Susan Moran, the Republican Registrar of Voters.
One of the state’s requirements was a breakdown of the votes from each of the town’s two districts by candidate, and that took time to calculate.
Poll workers also had to calculate “unknown votes.” Unknown votes occur when a party is cross-endorsed and listed on two voting lines. In some instances, voters filled in the circle for the candidate on both lines.
Those ballots, with votes for a candidate on two lines, were counted by the voting machine as “an unknown vote.” Workers had to run tapes on three different machines and then divide the unknown votes and assign them proportionally to one of the parties.
“There were no problems with the unknown votes, it was just very time consuming,” Ms. Moran said.
The final poll workers left around midnight and Town Clerk Donna Anastasia posted the election results on the town’s website shortly after.
“It was a long day and trying circumstances but I can’t thank Superintendent Colleen Palmer and the schools enough. Everyone was very accommodating,” Ms. Moran said.