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Bridgewater earns state voting honor

Published 5:51 pm, Wednesday, December 5, 2012
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Top 10 voter turnout 1) Bridgewater: 94.75 percent 2) Middletown: 89.96 3) Ridgefield: 89.42 4) Washington: 88.35 5) Woodbridge: 86.94 6) Granby: 86.22 7) Bolton: 86.02 8) Roxbury: 85.92 9) Wilton: 85.57 10) Killingworth: 85.35 Statewide average: 74 Source: Connecticut Secretary of the State
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The sterling silver Democracy Cup will be calling Bridgewater its home for a second year in the past three.

A town of not quite 1,800 residents had a 94.75 percent voter turnout for the Nov. 6 presidential election, the best turnout in the state.

Bridgewater also had taken the honor in 2009 with a 79 percent turnout.

"That's Bridgewater," said First Selectman Bill Stuart. "We do have a very patriotic town. It was a contested race this year.

"Many people don't realize how effective their vote can be, but in Bridgewater, the people do."

The Democracy Cup will be presented to Mr. Stuart and the town's registrars, Margaret Sullivan and Patricia Barlow, by Secretary of the State Denise Merrill in a ceremony at a date to be determined.

Statewide, the percentage of voter turnout was 74.

"Despite the challenges we faced following Hurricane Sandy, Connecticut voters came to the polls with a very strong turnout on election day," Mrs. Merrill said.

"By certifying these election results, we are officially putting into the record books the final word on one of the more exciting and historic elections in the history of our state."

Other Greater New Milford area towns had above average turnout at the polls.

Washington ranked fourth and Roxbury came in eighth in the state.

First Selectman Mark Lyon of Washington said it was "great to be No.4."

"Wish we were No.1, but this speaks well for the voters in Washington," he said.

"It shows people here have an interest, not just in their town, but in their state and the nation as well."

The Region 12 school district towns of Washington, Bridgewater and Roxbury have wrestled for the Democracy Cup six times in the past 12 years.

Washington received the cup in 2001, 2003 and 2004 and Roxbury claimed the honor in 2010.

"This is excellent," First Selectman Barbara Henry of Roxbury said. "I'm not surprised. I was in the polls volunteering on election day and it was non-stop all day."

"It was so nice to see people coming out to exercise their rights, not only their right, their duty."

stuz@newstimes.com; 860-355-7322