8,000 Westport voters mailed in or dropped off ballots before Election Day.
But thousands of others did not.
Before dawn today, they lined up at polling places around town.
At Greens Farms Elementary School, the line snaked all the way around the perimeter of the parking lot.
A man in his 50s who grew up here says, “I have never had to wait a minute to vote at Coleytown El. I got here at 6:11. This line is amazing.” As at Greens Farms, it stretched far into the lot.
When the Saugatuck Elementary School doors opened, approximately 200 people were already waiting.
The process was very efficient. A voter who joined the line near the football field was done voting 15 minutes later.
By 6:15, more than 50 men and women stood outside the Westport Library. By 6:45, they stretched through the police station parking lot, to Jesup Road.
Inside the library, poll watchers — including several high school students — offered voters hand sanitizer (optional) and gloves (mandatory).
Others checked names, and directed them to (socially distanced) voting stations.
The mood was cheery, and civic-minded.
In many ways, it was an election unlike any Westporters have ever seen.
In others, it was just a bunch of Americans doing what we always do.