Long Day at the Polls

Mitt Romney wins the GOP primary; in Montville, 228 people vote

Two hundred twenty-eight of the town's roughly 10,000 registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday's Republican presidential primary, choosing Mitt Romney by a wide margin (to see the totals, click here).

That meant a long, long day for people working the polls.

$17.50 a vote

Six or seven people were working at each of Montville's three polling places, which were staffed from about 5 a.m. to after 8 p.m. The cost of opening the polls was about $4,000, said Republican Registrar Mary Clark Wilson. That's about $17.50 a vote.

Vote by phone

The day was made a touch more interesting by the appearance of Elanah Sherman, who had been deputized by the Secretary of the State to check on accesibility issues.

Sherman works for the state Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities. She was checking to see that people with disabilities could park, enter and vote with ease.


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Even if people can't see, or can't read, Sherman says, they can vote, by using a special phone that gives them prompts, and then lets them vote by pressing numbers. The phone is connected to a fax machine, and a completed ballot is printed when the voter is finished.

The system is called IVS, and may be used by anyone.

At Mohegan Fire House, election staffers got a short refresher course on how to use the phone.

"This is all part of the effort to provide a private and indepent opportunity to vote," Sherman said.

One voter's concerns

Dale Brodsky was determined to vote, even though he started at the wrong polling place. He'd gone to Montville Town Hall, only to find that he needed to go to Fair Oaks. And he was going to go, he said.

"I'm very concerned about the direction the country has taken under our current administration," Brodsky said on Tuesday. "The current administration is far too left wing for our nation."

Saving some money

Wilson asked the state if Montville could open fewer polling places, or operate with fewer people. The state, she says, said no.

The town did save more than $2,000 on the primary, however, by opting to not use the optical scanner, and count the votes by hand instead.

The $2,300 that it would have cost to use the optical scanners is the cost of programming the 28 memory cards, and buying the special stock for the ballots.

Clark said the town saved even more money by getting a good price on the printing of ballots.

A full-fledged Election Day, she said, costs the town about $13,000.


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