GREENWICH, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Connecticut is expecting a record turnout of voters Tuesday.
People stood in long lines across the state, including in Madison, New Haven County.
Wait times at some polling places were at least an hour.
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Gov. Ned Lamont voted in Greenwich. He said a historic number of voters chose to submit absentee ballots.
“We started processing the absentee ballots on Friday and started counting them at 6 o’clock this morning,” he said.
According to Connecticut’s secretary of state, about 50% of Connecticut’s eligible voters had already cast ballots, including absentee ballots, by noon.
U.S. Reps. John Larson and Jim Himes were reelected and three colleagues in Connecticut’s all-Democratic delegation were facing Republican challengers as votes continued to be counted early Wednesday in an election that saw Democratic Vice President Joe Biden win the state’s presidential contest.
U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro in the 3rd Congressional District in south-central Connecticut declared victory. The Associated Press has not yet called her race. Both Reps. Jahana Hayes and Joe Courtney said they were waiting for the final votes to be tallied in their respective races.
Larson defeated Republican Mary Fay, a member of the West Hartford Town Council who was coached by the congressman when he was a high school basketball coach.
“I think it’s a safe bet to say that we have enough,” Larson said in declaring victory. He said he was humbled by the voters’ support, especially during a pandemic.
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Early Wednesday morning, it appeared there would be some changes in the General Assembly when lawmakers return in January, although votes were still being counted in numerous districts across the state. Democratic Majority Leader Matt Ritter of Hartford said in a written statement that House Democrats “secured a solid majority and picked up additional seats.”
Democrats currently hold a 91-60 advantage. There were several close races in the state Senate as well, where Democrats now hold a 22-14 edge. Romano predicted Republicans would “probably lose some and win some” seats in the legislature.
DeLauro, who was seeking a 16th term, faced an aggressive challenge from political newcomer and real estate executive Margaret Streicker, who raised nearly $1.4 million as of Oct. 14, $1 million of it of her own. She spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of that money on TV ads, many sharply critical of DeLauro, who raised nearly $1.7 million and ran TV ads for the first time in about two decades.
“I believe the people of the 3rd district know I will fight for them and I’m not afraid of a fight,” DeLauro told reporters at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven.
Himes declared victory about 45 minutes after the polls closed, thanking supporters at a post-election event and pledging to help “restitch our civic life,” referring to the acrimony in American politics. Himes faced a challenge from Republican Jonathan Riddle.
Votes were still being counted early Wednesday in the 5th Congressional District in northwestern Connecticut, where Hayes is seeking a second term, and in the 2nd Congressional District in the east, where Courtney was seeking an eighth term in a part of the state that has become more Republican in recent years.
Hayes is facing retired federal prosecutor and Republican David X. Sullivan. Late Tuesday, she issued a statement that her campaign was monitoring the vote count and their internal numbers “look very encouraging.”
Courtney is facing a challenge from Republican Justin Anderson, a political newcomer and a lieutenant colonel in the Connecticut Army National Guard. He told The Day of New London that while pleased with the vote count so far, he wanted to “allow a significant number of the other towns to report in before claiming any final outcome.”
As of Tuesday, 658,922 absentee ballots had been filled out and returned to town and city clerks, a figure that will likely increase. That’s in contrast to the 129,480 absentee ballots that were received statewide in the 2016 presidential election. Voters were still allowed to submit ballots up until 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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