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Voters Cite Negative Campaigns

Margo Doolittle was determined to vote. So the 34-year-old mother suited up her young son, Ben, and made her way to Weston Middle School and supported the Democrats across the board.

"There was a lot of communication this year," Doolittle said of the campaigns. "Tons of signs out there and I got a ton of phone calls."

But many residents considered the tone of the communication distasteful, especially long-time Weston resident Ralph Palumbo. "There was so much ugliness to one another," Palumbo said. "That's not really what Weston is about. We're not enemies." Palumbo – a registered Republican – voted independently this year, and said that he is satisfied with Connecticut's current administration.

The economy was the main concern for Jackie Kupper, 64, but she said it was difficult to know where the candidates stood because of the excessive quantity of attack ads. "The campaigns were nasty," she said. "I want to hear what they support, not what they hate about each other."

Kupper also voted independently, as did 67-year-old Bruce Mullen, a Vietnam veteran. He and his wife, Bobby, were also dissatisfied with the content of this year's campaign ads. "I feel like we've gotten more phone calls this year than in past years," Bobby said. "More mail, too," Bruce added.

The top issues for the Mullens were taxes and the economy. Weston First Selectman Gayle Weinstein also noted her concern for economic stability. "For me, the question is, 'Who's going to get the economy back on track?' I have a lot of concerns."

As of 9 a.m., 775 voters had cast ballots. Roughly 65 percent of the town is registered to vote, and Weston officials predict that 75 percent to 80 percent of those registered will vote.

In 2008, Weston received the Democracy Cup from the Connecticut Secretary of State for highest voter turnout in medium-sized towns with more than 90 percent of registered voters going to the polls.

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