Rutland County voters were busy in the Tuesday elections, and city officials reported high turnouts and long queues.
Nora Sargent of Wells Town Clerk said 384 voters reached Wells Town Hall at 15:30 hours before closing.
"We had 112 absentees today," Sargent said later. "Five hundred and one out of 904 voters! That's a lot for us! "
US Secretary of State Jim Condos said the results were unofficial, but voter turnout was high for a midterm election and a source of pride for Green Mountain State voters.
"Obviously, many Vermonters are involved and actively involved in our democracy … It is possible that this year a record number of voters were voted for a midterm election," he said.
Condos said that although the numbers are still set and likely to change, national turnout certainly wavered between 55 and 58 percent, with some 276,818 votes unofficially reported in the Governor's race of 486,752 registered voters, Condos said.
"Election Day here in VT was a shining example of what healthy democracy looks like," Condos said in a statement on Wednesday. "The civilian discourse among candidates, the high turnout and the implementation of policies and practices to uphold voter rights and access that we saw yesterday are all reasons we can be proud of."
Pittsford saw 60 percent of voters attend: 1,287 of the 2,299 registered voters showed votes.
"Yesterday we had a slightly higher turnout," said Helen McKinlay, Pittsford Town Clerk. "We had a very consistent amount throughout the day."
She said Tuesday's voter turnout jumps 24 percent from the 2014 midterm election, which saw 976 appear.
"I think there are many problems," said McKinlay. "I think there is so much going on, between the safety of the school, high taxes and health care, everyone wants to join in."
Rutland Town enrolled 63 percent of registered voters, a total of 1,963, and Castleton reported that 1,537 voters retired for Tuesday's midterm elections after 523 arrested in the primaries in August.
"It was high for us," said Castleton Town Clerk Nedra Bowen.
Both Fair Haven and Poultney participated in 54 percent of the registered voters, while both participated in only 42 percent of the final interim elections.
"We were undoubtedly busy," said Fairhaven town clerk Suzanne Ducharme, who said they had reached 600 voters before 4pm.
West Rutland scored half of its 847 voters in the polls, compared to 39 percent during the 2014 half-term, while Proctor saw 58 percent of its voters (692).
"It was probably the focus at the national level," said Killington Township lawyer Lucrecia Wonsor, whose city had a 58 percent stake, 12 percent more than in 2014. "With everything that's going on in general, I think people this time had a lot of motivation to vote."
The four districts of Rutland City recorded a turnout of 54 percent on election day. Residents poured into the polling stations, which quickly became standing quarters, said office worker Henry Heck.
At Ward 1 at the Godnick Center on Deer Street, there was a 61 percent turnout with 1,897 voters, while Ward 2 at Christ the King School had 1,446 voters (53 percent of total registered voters).
In Division 3 of the American Legion on Washington Street there was a turnout of 45 percent with 978 voters, while in Division 4 of the Calvary Bible Church were 1,358 voters, 53 percent of their voters.
"It's the biggest part-time I've done since I'm here," Heck said. "My day started at 5 am It was a 19-hour day for me, but these are election days."
Heck said he expected a larger turnout than the 5,679 voters, which attributed the lower turnout in the afternoon to wind and rain.
"From 7 o'clock there were only lines and lines out the door that were stable for most of the day," Heck said. "This was a very political election – very good and very D. People have voted with their party.
"There are riots," Heck said. "It's not so commonplace: you used to be able to go out and fight, dust off each other. Now it's more hate. "
In the years since he started working for Rutland City in 2002, Heck said that the biggest turnout he saw was in 2008, when 7,800 went to the polls and nearly 7,000 after four years back in the election.
"I think more people have responded to this choice," Heck said. "It was a political election. More people across the country are rising and saying what they think our government should be led … I think if Trump is going to run in 2020, it will be like the year Obama ran. I think people will think that this is our time.
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