Voters Slow To Show At Primary Polls

Only 311 out of 7,355 potential voters show up in first five hours of ballot availability

A sign at warns that once you step beyond it, campaigning and distribution of campaign literature is not permitted. The polling place was having little trouble with the rule; aside from a scattering of political signs, no one was present to rally for their favorite candidate.

Bill Giesing, the Democratic registrar of voters, said 311 people had shown up to vote as of 11 a.m. The town has 6,100 registered Democrats and 1,255 registered Republicans. Prior to today's primary election, the registrars received absentee ballots from 25 Democrats and nine Republicans.

"That tells me nobody's coming out. That's usually an indicator," said Giesing.

Today's primary will determine the party's candidates for the United States Senate race. Chris Murphy and Susan Bysiewicz are vying for the nomination on the Democratic side, while Chris Shays and Linda McMahon are in the running for the Republican nomination. The general election will determine who will succeed Senator Joe Lieberman, a former Democrat and current Independent who will retire at the end of his current term after 24 years in the Senate.

The Republican primary will also determine the candidate for the 2nd Congressional District. Paul Formica, of East Lyme, and Daria Novak, of Madison, are competing for this nomination. The winner of today's primary will face incumbent Democrat Joe Courtney in the general election. Courtney has been in the House of Representatives since winning the 2006 election.

The polls are open until 8 p.m. In New London, the First District votes at New London High School, the Second District at , and the Third District at .

"I'm hoping we get a rush somewhere, because I'm predicting, I'm hoping, 1,200," said Giesing. "And even that's really low."

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