Tag Archives: Westport registrars of voters

Roundup: Ballots, Food Drive, Atlantic Sports Story, More


To clarify yesterday’s Roundup story on absentee ballots:

The registrars of voters have not “counted” ballots yet. They cannot do that until tomorrow. What they did on Saturday was open the ballots, to find any without signatures.

Five of those — out of approximately 8,000 returned — were discovered. Those voters will be contacted today, and are allowed to vote in person tomorrow.


As Thanksgiving nears, Wakeman Town Farm is collecting nutritious, non-perishable food, for delivery to 2 local pantries. Among the items most in
demand:

  • Pasta
  • Rice and quinoa
  • Oatmeal
  • Cereal
  • Mac and cheese
  • Canned fruits
  • Applesauce
  • Dried fruits (raisins, prunes, apricots, etc.)
  • Canned vegetables
  • Soups (canned or boxed)
  • Stews and chili (canned or boxed)
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Dried beans and ;entils
  • Canned tuna, salmon, chicken in water or broth
  • Jell-O
  • Protein and granola bars, unsalted nuts and seeds, whole grain crackers
  • Coffee and tea.

Items can be dropped off at the “Food Donation” bins at the gates to Wakeman Town Farm on Cross Highway, and at Franny’s Farmacy and Savannah Bee.


As COVID cases rise, what will local retailers do on Black Friday?

Jillian Elder wants to know. The founder of the Finding Westport platform — your go-to site for all local retailers, restaurants and services — is surveying businesses, and will post that information soon. It will go on Finding Fairfield County and Finding Connecticut too.

If you’re a retailer or restaurant owner, tell Jillian your hours, limitations on customers, etc. Email submissions@findingwestport.com.


Westport writer Ruth Shalit Barrett’s long article about crazy, college-focused  Fairfield County niche youth sports — fencing, crew, squash, lacrosse — created quite a buzz when The Atlantic published it last month.

It’s creating more buzz now. First, the magazine appended an extraordinary 800-word correction.

Last night, the Atlantic retracted the entire piece. Click here to read why.

The Atlantic illustrated Ruth Shalit Barrett’s story with this time-lapse photo by Pelle Cass.


Every day, the Y’s Men walk. Yesterday was typical: a group gathered at the train station, then headed out for 4 1/2 miles. Molly Alger joined them, as “the token woman.”

All walks are socially distanced — except for their brief gathering for this photo, part way through.


And finally … today is of course the Day of the Dead.

 

Roundup: Absentee Ballots, Pumpkin Recycling, Black Holes, More


Counting Westport’s approximately 8,000 returned absentee ballots began at noon yesterday. The goal was to finish today, and attempt to reach voters whose ballots were rejected beginning tomorrow morning.

A herculean effort resulted in the opening of all ballots by 6 p.m. last night. Astonishingly, only 5 ballots were rejected, for errors like improper insertion of the inner envelope, or lack of a signature.

Registrars of voters will contact those individuals. They will be able to vote on Election Day.


Your Halloween candy may be all gone (given away and/or eaten). Your pumpkin probably is not.

No problem!

Bring it to the Westport Farmer’s Market (Imperial Avenue parking lot) this Thursday, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. They’ll “recycle” it.

It’s one small way to lessen the 1.3 billion pumpkins that end up in landfill each year. (Hat tip: Johanna Rossi)


2020 may seem like a black hole. The real black holes, of course, are in outer space.

On November 17 (8 p.m.), the Westport Astronomical Society presents a virtual lecture. Yale astronomy and physics professor Priyamvada Natarajan’s talk is titled “Searching for the Elusive Population of Intermediate Mass Black Holes.” It’s available via Zoom and YouTube.

The WAS is also selling their 2021 calendar. It includes astrophotography from talented members, and daily astronomical data.

The cost is $15 for members, $20 for non-members, plus $5 shipping for 1 or 2 calendars, $10 for 3 to 5. Supplies are limited. Email alex@was-ct.org, and include the number you’d like and mailing address. You’ll be invoiced via PayPal.


And finally … if you’ve made it this far without realizing you gained an hour of sleep last night:

Roundup: Positano, Poll Workers, Church Aid, More


A sign in Positano’s window says, “We are closed.”

The phone message elaborates: “We are now closed. We wish the new owners the best of luck. We thank our customers for their patronage over the last 20 years. Arrivederci!”

The popular Italian restaurant opened in July 2015 next to the Westport Country Playhouse. It relocated there from Old Mill Beach after a long run, replacing the Dressing Room restaurant founded by Paul Newman and Michel Nischan.

Despite what the sign says, Positano is now closed.


It’s the perfect storm: Election Day this November will be held during a pandemic. Officials traditionally rely on retirees to serve as poll workers. But finding willing workers may be hard this year, as older people opt not to spend hours indoors, assisting voters in close quarters.

Which makes this the perfect opportunity for another group affected by COVID-19: college students, forced off campus and back home for distance learning.

Poll workers earn around $200 a day. Some work half days (5:15 a.m. to 1 p.m., or 12:45 p.m. until the end of voting) for half pay. During the recent primary election, full-day workers also received a meal allowance of about $40 (subject to change).

Training is required. Before the coronavirus, the session was 2 hours. Video conferencing may lengthen the presentation.

Registrars also seek high schoolers in the past. They’ve been great in the past — especially with recent technological advances. There is no school on Election Day.

Interested students — or anyone else — can contact registeredvoters@westportct.gov for more information. (Hat tip: Lynn Goldberg)

Westport poll workers, in 2017.


This Sunday (August 30, 1-4 p.m.), Saugatuck Church runs a food drive to support Person to Person in Norwalk.

Non-perishable food can be dropped off in the church parking lot. Volunteers will collect donations directly from drivers’ trunks. Among the most needed items:

• Spaghetti sauce
• Pasta
• Canned vegetables
• Dry red or black beans
• Jam and jelly
• Mac and cheese
• Granola/snack bars.

Saugatuck Congregational Church (Photo/Storm Sorrentino)


In other religious/community caring news: Every Saturday, David Vita — director of social justice of Westport’s Unitarian Church — brings hundreds of brown bag lunches to take Bridgeport shelters.

The lunches — of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit, a drink, snack and a treat — are made by church members.

Since April 18, over 4,000 lunches have been made and distributed. To help, email david@uuwwestport.org or call 203-227-7205, ext. 14.

Westport Unitarian Church.


Yesterday’s Roundup noted that Balducci’s parent company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

An email from the store’s CEO Judy Spires to customers says: “Our stores will continue to be fully operational, offering the quality product and selections you have come to expect. And of course, they will continue to be staffed by all of your favorite people. Please be assured that the wages and benefits of all of our Associates will continue as usual, and our Associates will continue to provide you with the top-quality service you depend on.”


How to rehearse in a pandemic? Outdoors.

The other night, Any Given Thursday — that’s the band’s name — held its final session before their show at Black Rock’s BRYAC (Thursday, August 27, 5 p.m.). They tuned up outside the Gig Center on the Post Road, near Southport.

A small crowd stopped by. It will be bigger on any given Thursday — well, this coming one, at least. (Hat tip: Lou Weinberg)


“06880” loves the Little Free Libraries popping up all over town. It’s simple: bring a book, or borrow a book. That’s it!

Amy Schneider spotted this one at 11 Hillyfield Lane, off Marion Road:


And finally … Happy 76th birthday to Walter Williams of the O’Jays!

Vote Next Month. But Register Now!

On November 5, Westporters will elect candidates for a variety of important local offices, including the Board of Education, Board of Finance, Planning & Zoning Commission and RTM.

But in order to vote, you must be registered.

October 29 is the deadline for:

  • Mail-in registration of new voters (postmark)
  • Online registrations (click here)
  • In-person registration at the Registrars of Voters office, Town Hall, Room 107 (weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

November 4 (5 p.m.) is the deadline for in-person registration at Town Hall for residents who meet at least one of the following limited criteria. Between October 29 and November 5, you must have:

  • Turned 18 years old
  • Moved to Westport
  • Achieved citizenship
  • Been a member or family member of the armed services.

Questions? Call 203-341-1115 or click here.

 

Unsung Heroes #72

When you and I go to the polls next Tuesday*, we’ll zip in and out of there in a few minutes.

It’s a wonderful ritual: We exercise a right countless Americans have fought and died for. We buy coffee and cookies to support the PTA. Then we’re gone, to take care of our usual business.

But Election Day doesn’t just happen.

It works like clockwork** only because of the hard work of dozens of men and women.

We see some of them: the poll workers — Democrats and Republicans — who spend 14 hours sitting at a table, methodically checking (and double-checking) every voter who comes in.

A soothingly familiar scene, year after year in Westport.

They solve problems. They thank us for voting. And they do it thoroughly, professionally, and with great good humor.

Their own spouse might come in. The routine does not vary. “ID, please,” they say.

They’re aided by ballot watchers. It’s mind numbing. They stare intently as voter after voter walks up, pushes a ballot into the machine, and leaves.

Some folks need help. Others need reassurance that their vote will be counted. Hour after after, the ballot watchers are there.

Of course, the backbone of the operation is the Registrar of Voters office. There’s a ton of work that goes on behind the scenes. Republicans and Democrats work side by side to make it happen.

Registrars of both parties work together to enroll new voters.

So next Tuesday, when you vote***, take an extra second or two to thank all the often-anonymous, always-conscientious, vitally important people who make it happen.

You might even buy them a coffee or cookie.

* You are voting, right?!

** In Westport, anyway

*** Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.!

Voter Registration Deadlines Near

The Registrars of Voters office (Room 107, Town Hall) is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., for voter registration.

October 30 is the deadline for these registrations for the November 6 state election:

November 5 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Town Hall) is the deadline for in-person registration by residents who meet the following criteria:

Between October 30, and November 6, 2018:

  • Achieved the age of 18
  • Moved to Westport
  • Achieved citizenship
  • Are a member or family member of the armed services.

Questions? Call 203-341-1115 or click here.

NOTEVoters whose normal polling place is Coleytown Middle School will vote this year at Coleytown Elementary School.

Want A Primary Vote? Register!

Unhappy with what’s going on in Hartford? Interested in a change in Washington?

Connecticut voters get their chance to choose candidates for 5 offices — 4 statewide, 1 in the US Senate — next month.

But in order to vote in the August 14 primary election, you must be a member of a political party.

Republicans will choose from among 5 candidates for governor. There are also contested races for lieutenant governor, US senator, treasurer, comptroller and attorney general.

Democrats have primaries for governor, lieutenant governor treasurer and attorney general. The full list is below.

Voters currently registered as Unaffiliated who wish to vote in one of the parties’ primaries should click here to change now. (Unsure how you’re registered? Check here.)

The online voter registration deadline is August 9 (11:59 p.m.). The mail postmark voter registration deadline is August 9. The in-person voter registration deadline is August 13 (12 p.m.).

Absentee ballots are available on Tuesday, July 24. They must be received by the local town clerk by 8 p.m. on primary Election Day.

Questions? Call Westport’s registrars of voters: 203-341-1115, or stop in to their office at Town Hall.

Democratic Primary

  • Governor: Ned Lamont*, Joe Ganim
  • Lieutenant governor: Susan Bysiewicz*, Eva Bermudez Zimmerman
  • Treasurer: Shawn Wooden*, Dita Bhargava
  • Attorney general: William Tong*, Paul Doyle, Chris Mattei

Republican Primary

  • Governor: Mark Boughton*, Timothy Herbst, Steve Obsitnik, Bob Stefanowski, David Stemerman
  • Lieutenant governor: Joe Markley*, Jayme Stevenson, Erin Stewart
  • US Senator: Matthew Corey*, Dominic Rapini
  • Treasurer: Thad Gray*, Art Linares
  • Comptroller: Kurt Miller*, Mark Greenberg
  • Attorney general: Sue Hatfield*, John Shaban

* indicates the party-endorsed candidate

Not Registered To Vote? Do It Tuesday!

There is no early voting in Connecticut. And the deadline for voter registration has passed.

But if you have not yet registered, there’s still a chance to vote this year. And no, it’s not rigged. It’s completely legit.

Westport’s Democratic and Republican registrars of voters announce Election Day registration. It takes place this Tuesday (November 8), from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Hall auditorium.

Residents must appear in person, with proof of both identity and residence. A current Connecticut driver’s or non-driver’s license or learner’s permit satisfies both requirements.

ivotedstickerProof of identity examples include birth certificate, Social Security card, passport, college photo ID, and an out-of-state or Connecticut driver’s license without Westport address change.

Proof of residence (showing current Westport address) includes a lease, paycheck, bank statement, property tax bill, naturalization documents, current college registration/free statement, passport, or utility bill (due no later than 30 days after Election Day).

Questions? Call 203-341-1115, or click here.

(NOTE: Election Day registration takes a while. If your registration has not been processed by 8 p.m., you can’t vote. You’ve cut it close already — don’t blow this chance!)