FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Turnout among registered voters averaged 31.43 percent across the state in last week's election, but the numbers varied greatly across Fairfield County and seemed to match up with the competitive nature of the races in a town, according to the state.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill released voter turnout numbers Wednesday from the 2013 Municipal Elections held Nov. 5.
The town with the highest voter turnout statewide was Bridgewater, where 77.39 percent of the registered voters cast ballots. The municipality with the lowest voter turnout was Hartford, where only 5.21 percent of registered voters cast ballots. Only seven municipalities saw half of more of the registered voters turnout.
Local turnout numbers included, from highest to lowest:
- Westport: 48.85 percent, with 7,961 of the 16,994 registered voters casting ballots. Westport elected a new first selectman.
- Easton: 45.42 percent, with 2,351 of 5,176 voters casting ballots. Easton elected a new first selectman.
- Redding: 38.56 percent with 2,694 voters of 6,987 casting ballots. Redding elected a new first selectman.
- Norwalk: 37.79 percent with 16,781 of 44,407 voters casting ballots. Norwalk elected a new mayor.
- Greenwich: 37.12 percent with 11934 of 32,152 voters cast ballots. Greenwich re-elected its first selectman.
- Stamford: 35.38 percent with 21,441 of 60,604 voters casting ballots. Stamford elected a new mayor.
- Danbury: 32.97 percent with 11,304 of 34,286 voters casting ballots. Danbury re-elected its mayor.
- Weston: 31.97 percent with 2,134 voters of 6,674 casting ballots and 112 absentee ballots. Weston's top contested races were for a selectman seat and on town boards.
- Darien: 29.87 percent with 3,659 of 12,249 voters casting ballots. Darien's top race was for the Board of Education.
- Fairfield: 29.25 percent with 10,775 of 36,839 voters casting ballots. Fairfield's top races were for the RTM and other town boards.
- New Canaan: 26.51 percent with 3,481 of 13,132 registered voters casting ballots. New Canaan's top contested race was for Town Council.
- Ridgefield: 24.10 percent with 4,020 of 16,681 registered voters casting ballots. Ridgefield's top contested races were for Board of Education and Board of Finance.
- Wilton: 11.52 percent with 1,320 of 11,463 voters casting ballots. It was the second lowest turnout in the state, with only Hartford lower, but Wilton had no contested races.
- Statewide: 31.43 percent with 634,875 voters of 2,020,194 casting ballots.
“Municipal elections usually have lower turnout figures than state or presidential elections, even though the impact of the decisions made by those elected to local government is huge in the community,” said Merrill, Connecticut’s chief elections official. “Many races were decided by just a handful of votes, and we had a number of recounts as a result, which shows once again how important it is to do your civic duty and cast a ballot.
"I also want to praise our local election officials for accommodating all of the new voters in Connecticut who used their new right to register and vote on Election Day. From everything we are hearing Election Day registration went very smoothly in 2013, and we look forward to even more voters being welcomed into the democratic process next year.”
About 1,600 residents statewide used same day registration to vote, with 61 same day registrations in Stamford, 81 in Norwalk, 40 in Greenwich, 36 in Danbury, 34 in Westport, 22 in Weston, 11 in Ridgefield and six in WIlton.