BRISTOL – Bristol engaged in the perhaps most recognized of American traditions Tuesday as residents set out to vote for their favored candidates during the Connecticut August Primary elections.
In the sole local race, Republicans Joe Hoxha and Aileen Abrams faced off in order to become the sole candidate for Republicans seeking to keep hold of a 78th House District seat long held by State Representative Whit Betts.
Carrie Cameron exercised her right to vote at a polling location in Bristol Eastern High School.
“It’s very important to vote because, one, you can’t complain about anything going on if you don’t vote,” she said. “There’s too much corruption going on and you really have to follow and read up on candidates and know who you’re voting for. For the past week, I’ve been reading up and had some people show up at my house and share their opinions and that was great.”
Cameron said the election most important to her was that of the Connecticut race for U.S. Senate.
“The current one we have in office is not particularly my cup of tea,” she said. “I’m really hoping there will be a better (voter) turnout this year because of everything that’s going on and how bad the economy has been. I really hope people take the initiative.”
David Gilbert and Liz Gilbert spent their late morning voting at Edgewood School.
“I always come out and vote. It’s great,” said David.
“It’s our responsibility,” said Liz.
David said that he and Liz were retired so it was easier for them to get out and vote than it was for others. With voting hours from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., he felt most should be able to get to the polls but he doubted how many cared about exercising their vote.
“Most people don’t understand it either,” said Liz. “The people I used to work with had no clue what a primary is so there’s some lack of education on that perspective.”
She said she thought that if more people understood the system or cared, they might come out to vote.
“A lot of people don’t care because I think the opinion is ‘it doesn’t matter what I say anyway because whatever is going to happen is going to happen,’” said Liz. “You throw your hands up and say que sera, sera.”
David said he and Liz knew how important it was to vote but he felt a lot of American citizens felt their votes may not count because they think the system is “rigged” or a variety of other reasons.
The pair said they felt the implementation of voter identification would be a good thing for Connecticut elections.
Rae Rudzinski outside the polling location at Greene-Hills School echoed Cameron’s sentiment that one shouldn’t complain if they had not voted.
“I make sure I vote,” she said. “I don’t always win it. Not in Connecticut, you won’t always win it, but I still get out and I try. . . Just the feeling, don’t you want things to change a little bit? Do you like what’s going on? How could you like what’s going on? The gas prices are through the ceiling. The grocery stores, if you want items, you can’t even find them, and look at the prices.”