Last Updated on November 9, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Fairfield, Connecticut election officials are still eagerly awaiting the official results of the November 7 election due to a combination of factors, including a high volume of in-person votes from college students and a printing issue with certain absentee ballots. Both of these factors have caused a delay in the finalization of the results.
According to the Registrar of Voters, Matthew Waggner, the in-person and absentee ballot votes have been counted. However, the results are still pending approval from the head moderator. Until the official approval is given, the unofficial results currently indicate that the Democratic candidate, Bill Gerber, is ahead of the Republican incumbent, Brenda Kupchick, by only 42 votes. Not only that, but Gerber’s running mate, Christine Vitale, is also ahead of Kupchick’s running mate, Brian Farnen, by a substantial 820 votes.
Despite the unofficial results, Gerber’s campaign has already claimed victory. On the other hand, Kupchick’s campaign believes that the close margin will likely trigger an automatic recount. This is due to the fact that the difference between the two candidates is quite small, making it necessary to double-check the accuracy of the votes.
The delay in the unofficial results can be attributed to the larger than normal amount of in-person ballots that had to be counted on election night. In addition to that, there was also a surge in election day registrations by college students, which required extra time for verification and processing.
In a surprising twist, Elizabeth Zezima, the Democratic majority leader on the Representative Town Meeting, accused Kupchick and Farnen of canvassing Fairfield University and warning the students about a noise ordinance introduced by Democrats. According to Zezima, students were allegedly encouraged to vote for Republican candidates through social and messaging apps, with warnings about the noise ordinance impacting their ability to hold events or parties after 6 p.m.
However, it is important to note that the noise ordinance, adopted by the Democrat-led RTM in August, actually prohibits excessive noise from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekends. The claims made by Zezima suggest a misrepresentation of the ordinance and a potential attempt to sway the college student vote.
Despite the serious allegations, Kupchick’s campaign has yet to respond to requests for comment on the college student participation prior to publication. It remains to be seen how these accusations will impact the final outcome of the election and whether a recount will indeed take place. Fairfield, Connecticut residents eagerly anticipate the official results and the finalization of the election.