Voters Return Incumbents Himes, Hwang and Hughes to Their Posts

Voters in Easton, the region and across the United States turned out in high numbers for the Nov. 3 Presidential Election. They voted to return the Connecticut incumbents who represent Easton to their posts. But the determination of who will occupy the Oval Office await final tallies which could be days away — or even longer.

According to the unofficial results, Hughes lost to Shaban by a narrow margin of 27 votes in Easton (2,483 for Shaban to 2,456 for Hughes), but won the overall election by a significant margin by carrying Redding by 685 votes (2,282 for Hughes and 1,597 for Shaban) and Weston by 1,542 (3876 for Hughes and 2,334 for Shaban). The combined unofficial vote tally as of Wednesday morning was 8,614 for Hughes and 6,369 for Shaban.

Democratic Congressman Jim Himes was re-elected for a seventh term according to an Associated Press projection on Tuesday night. Himes prevailed in Easton by 416 votes over Republican challenger Jonathan Riddle (2,644 to 2,228).

Republican Tony Hwang was also the apparent winner in a close race over Democratic challenger Michelle McCabe by just over 2,000 votes, including a 603-vote margin in Easton (2,776 to 2,173). The unofficial numbers were 31,494 for Hwang and 29,447 for McCabe.

Easton’s election moderator Tom Herrmann. — Tomas Koeck Photo

Tom Herrmann, the acting Republican Registrar of Voters and election moderator, commented during the Nov. 3 polling on the heavy voter turnout.

“This will be the highest on record that people involved in Easton can remember,” Herrmann said. “If I were to guess I would expect we might have a 90% turnout.”

It wasn’t quite that high, but out of 5,715 registered voters, slightly more than 5,001 voters cast ballots, or close to 88%. Herrmann said the polls opened at 6 o’clock, and “we have been well pleased with the turnout. It was quite strong in the beginning of the day. People were lined up in front of the elementary school, but the maximum wait time was about 25 minutes.”

The average wait time was 15 minutes, maybe as few as 10 minutes, Herrmann said. Many people walked right up and voted. He attributed the smooth-running operation to the well-trained poll workers.

“This has been just an incredible election day. I’ve been a registrar for six and a half years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” David Smith, Democratic registrar of voters, said, “It was a little chilly, but it was at least clear unlike some days we’ve had. It didn’t deter anyone.”

The first three or four hours were incredible,” Smith said. “When we got here at 5’o’clock, there was one man here. There were seven or eight or 10 by the time we opened the doors. From that time on, there was a flood of voters, fortunately in good humor, but it was pretty cold out there. We had things pretty well organized so there wasn’t a long wait.”

Smith said that everyone was well masked and they were able to take care of new voters, older voters and everyone in between. “We did it as rapidly and as easily as possible. Our numbers were huge. It’s been an exciting day.”

“I’ve lived in Easton for 28 years and voted in every election in my life,” said Maggie Silverstein, assistant moderator. “I’ve never seen turnout like this in Easton before. It’s so exciting. It seems like every type of Easton voter is voting today. I hope they will do so in every election.”

Photo at top: Voters wait to enter the polls in an orderly line at Samuel Staples Elementary Schoo. — Taci Batista Photo