Both Wednesday and Thursday were busier than usual in the basement of town hall, where the registrar of voters office saw more than its regular share of folks stopping by.
"It was a lot more than usual," said Democratic Registrar of Voters Sandra L. Faraci. With Hurricane Sandy shutting down state and local operations this past Monday and Tuesday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy extended the voter registration deadline statewide to Nov. 1.
State law forbids an absentee ballot being cast late simply because a voter is stuck at home. Ballots will be available from city and town halls on Election Day.
"We are very fortunate in Middletown that we really lucked out in the storm, said Faraci, who's been one of two elected city registrar for the past 15 years. Janice Gionfriddo as been the Republican registar for 14 years.
Hurricane Sandy left at least 100 of the state’s 738 polling places without electricity, according to the Secretary of State Denise Merrill. However, she expects ample progress by the time polls open on Election Day.
“I am confident we will have our polling places where they need to be,” she said at a press conference at the Capitol at noon on Wednesday.
In fact, as of Oct. 31, there were 23,848 registered voters in Middletown: 11,342 Democrats, 3,675 Republicans, 8,690 unaffiliated and 241 others.
By 8 p.m. on Nov. 1, the registrar reported 24,032 registered voters: 3,596 Republicans, 11,417 Democrats, 8,771 unaffiliated and 248 others.
These totals mean 1,831 people have registered to vote in Middletown since Sept. 26 — in little over a month. That breaks down by party as: 177 more Republicans, 815 more Democrats, 770 more unaffiliated, and 68 more others.
The rate of unaffiliated voter registration has far surpassed any other party.
"All our polling places are up and running," Faraci explained. We'll have the Presidential ballot set up here in city hall."
It's a little-known fact that Middletown has allowed, for the past two Presidential elections, residents to vote only for President — regardless of whether they are registered or not.
The registrar's office is still seeking people interested in working the polls on election day. For information, stop by the office in the basement of city hall or call (860) (860) 344-3518 or 3518.
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