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Southbury Evaluates Election 2012 After Changes in Voting Districts

Town officials agreed that everything went well overall.

Editor’s Note: The following is a press released issued by the Town of Southbury.

Election Day 2012 marked the beginning of a new voting experience for Southbury residents: the prior five districts had been consolidated into three and the polling sites had been moved into three Town-owned buildings. The closely contested races resulted in a nearly 90% voter turnout. In an effort to learn from the experience, Southbury decided to convene a “hotwash” after the event to review the day’s events and identify how we can improve. This is similar to other reviews that have been done in Southbury under the current administration.  “Continuous improvement through assessments like this is the key to providing effective government.  I appreciate the cooperative spirit of the team that prepared this excellent report as it provides positive steps based on solid information," noted First Selectman Ed Edelson.

A gathering of those who were involved in the voting process - which included registrars, moderators, Police, Fire Marshal, and Head Librarian - agreed that everything went well, overall. Everyone was glad that so many Southbury voters showed up to vote and all agreed that most voters did not complain about lines or delays. With the power outages caused by Storm Sandy fresh in everyone’s mind, all agreed that it was a relief to know that all three polling sites are equipped with back-up power generators.

Several suggestions for improving future voting experiences were identified, including realigning Districts 1 and 2 to better balance the number of voters in each polling site, closing the library for normal business when a high voter turnout is expected as was done at the Senior Center and Parks and Recreation, smaller checker tables and higher signs to improve traffic flow inside the polling site, alerting transport drivers in advance of the protocol for dropping off and picking up voters – not to stand and wait, effectively creating a traffic jam.

A complete, detailed report of this after event summation can be found on the Town’s website: www.Southbury-ct.org under Notices and Announcements.

Southbury Resident December 12, 2012 at 03:06 PM
I have to admit, it was a little mess at the library. Everybody were trying to come through the same door but, because different tables, you had to stand and wait for your table to be free. That created a little of mess as people were standing in line but available tables were for people from end of line. However, overall it was great organization and we had nothing like other states were people spend 6 hours in line.
Ruth December 12, 2012 at 06:26 PM
It was WAY more than a little mess when we went to vote at the library. There was total chaos with people pushing, cutting lines and no direction from anyone there. The parking lot was also a mess and worth one's life trying to get cross to the library. We immediately sent an email to the First Selectman and Registrar of Voters when we returned home, but NEVER received even the courtesy of a reply from either one. The library just did not work for this vote.
Gary Pruzinsky December 12, 2012 at 07:53 PM
I wonder if there were any fender benders at the Library as it was crazy trying to back out of a space with cars coming and going and people walking behind cars trying to pull out. RMS was a much smoother voting site.
Ruth December 12, 2012 at 10:56 PM
We had wondered the same thing. People were backing out without looking, and we certainly saw some "near misses" with both cars and people. Our immediate thought was that they should have had policemen stationed at either end of the entrance/exits to the library. There should also be accommodations for handicapped people so that they are not standing in long lines......just a thought!!!

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