Political observer John Marshall Lee writes in this commentary “Citizens, eligible and registered to vote, staying away from the polls can be termed “absent voters”. They are the major reason we find no satisfaction at this time.”
Here we sit reading the CT Post or social media on Veteran’s Day holiday November 10 and we await notice of the process including a second Primary relying on a Court Order. But this primary follows November 7 Election Day and is restricted to the two candidates who faced off in a primary tainted with likely, though not as yet, charged illegal voting activities. Therefore, one consequence is this unusual primary. Will there then be another special election between incumbent Ganim and challenger Gomes beyond the second primary? Buckle up and follow the logic of justice relating to fairness and rights in elections.
When I visited the Voting office on October 11, 2023, I had a good conversation with both Registrars and they provided registration information, current as of October 5, 2023. My notes show 41,847 Democrats, 4,568 Republicans, 22,537 Unaffiliated, and 485 Other party members. These numbers total 69, 437, which was the total reported by the Registrars.
This week I asked for information from the Town Clerk’s office. They sent a copy of their report to the State of CT, Secretary of State. The report noted that 42 folks advantaged themselves of Election Day Registration. 1,656 absentee ballots were accepted while 75 absentee ballots were rejected. Certainly, other changes likely occurred between the October results from the Registrars and the Election Day Grand Total from the Official Check List Report totaling 69687 of whom 13923 voted (19.98%). Absentee ballots represent almost 12% of votes cast November 7, 2023.
Distress in Bridgeport over election results can find any number of scapegoats but it becomes clear from the above facts and numbers that ‘absentee ballots’ are only a minor part of the Bridgeport narrative. Citizens, eligible and registered to vote, staying away from the polls can be termed “absent voters”. They are the major reason we find no satisfaction at this time. “Absent voters” are neglecting a citizen responsibility like military “draft dodgers”, parking meter scofflaws, folks who game ‘jury duty’, or others who cheat on property or income taxes, without observing or settling their fair share of duty to their neighbors. At this time when people protest exclusion from a table where public information is shared and decisions are made, the major neglect of voting does serious damage to the health of the “body politic”. Action changes things. Time will tell.