Election 2020: Dathan, Haskell, O’Dea Re-Elected; How New Canaan Voted [TABLE]

Voters on Tuesday re-elected at least three members of New Canaan’s delegation to the state legislature. 

In an election that saw strong turnout and especially high numbers of absentee ballots cast amid the COVID-19 pandemic—leading to a delay in tallying votes—State Reps. Lucy Dathan (D-142nd) and Tom O’Dea (R-125th) and state Sen. Will Haskell (D-26th) retained their seats in the General Assembly. (O’Dea, a New Canaan resident, was unopposed.)

State Sen. Alex Kasser (D-36th) remained locked in a close race with Greenwich Republican Ryan Fazio as of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. As in 2018, most New Canaanites backed Republican candidates for state offices, though they did so at lower overall percentages. New Canaan voters also backed U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4) for the first time since his election to Congress one dozen years ago.

Election 2020: Voting Results To Come Wednesday; Absentee Ballots Not Yet Counted

It won’t be clear until at least Wednesday evening how New Canaan voted in the election, officials say, because the more than 5,000 absentee ballots cast by New Canaan voters must be cross-checked before they’re counted. In all, New Canaan voters cast 5,256 absentee ballots for the election, according to Town Clerk Claudia Weber—about 40% of all ballots cast and nearly four times the absentee ballot total from 2016. 

Those ballots must be cross-checked with the ballots cast in-person Tuesday in order to ensure that no one voted both ways, Weber said. Once that’s done, the absentee ballots will be counted—a process that likely will run into late afternoon or early evening Wednesday, she said. (It’s unclear just when other municipalities will count ballots for the state races, as each state legislator representing New Canaan also represents others towns.)

Overall turnout from New Canaan voters this year finished at about 81.5% of eligible electors—nearly two points higher than 2016, itself an historically high turnout. Voters queued up outside Saxe Middle School and New Canaan High School in the dark, well before polls opened at 6 a.m. on Nov.

Letters to the Editor: Election 2020 

[Note: NewCanaanite.com through Oct. 21 will publish Election 2020 endorsement letters from New Canaan residents for candidates seeking to represent the town.]

To the Editor,

Schools are open. Some kids are in school and some are at home. Teachers are doing their best to meet the needs of all the kids, to keep them safe, to make them feel loved, and to make sure they have the best educational experience possible. Most of those teachers, I’m sure, would rather be at home, completely safe from exposure to COVID.