Hartford, CT - Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today presented the 2012 “Democracy Cup” for the highest voter turnout percentage in the 2012 Presidential election in Connecticut to Bridgewater (94.75%) and Middletown (89.86%). The award is given annually to the small, mid-sized, large towns and city with the highest voter turnout on Election Day. The other winners of the 2012 Democracy Cup for voter turnout are Granby (86.22%) and Stamford (71.6%). Bridgewater is the winner in the small town category, the second such award for Bridgewater, a town that won the Democracy Cup in 2009. Middletown is the winner of the Democracy Cup in the large town category.
“We saw a very strong voter turnout of 74% of registered voters statewide on Election Day in 2012, despite the difficult challenges presented in our state by damage from Hurricane Sandy,” said Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s Chief Elections Official. “Yet, the voters in Bridgewater, Middletown and the other communities who win the award this year really set an example for all of the voters in Connecticut of why elections and participating in democracy are important. I congratulate both Bridgewater and Middletown for doing such a wonderful job with 9 out of 10 registered voters participating in the 2012 election – it is some of the highest voter turnout in the nation!”
Co-sponsored by the East Haddam Civic Association since 2000, the Democracy Cup was created as a way to encourage voter participation in each year’s elections. Under Democracy Cup criteria, towns with fewer than 5,000 registered voters are considered small; municipalities with between 5,000 and 14,999 and voters are considered mid-sized, towns with 15,000 and 49,999 registered voters are considered large towns. Cities with more than 50,000 registered voters are their own category.
“All Connecticut communities should be proud of their voter participation this year, especially towns like Bridgewater who have consistently shown high voter interest in our elections,” said Scot Mackinnon, co-founder of the Democracy Cup and East Haddam Civic Association member. “What is especially encouraging is seeing a town as large as Middletown record a voter turnout of nearly 90% which is very rare for a community that size. This is really excellent turnout and definitely worth celebrating."
Overall, statewide voter turnout was 74% in the 2012 General Election, slightly less than the last Presidential election turnout of 78.14% in 2008, in what may have been a result of difficulties in transportation and communication due to power outages and downed tree limbs from Hurricane Sandy.
Each community awarded the Democracy Cup will be able to host and display a trophy through next year’s November elections. The trophy presentations for Middletown and Bridgewater will take place on Thursday December 27th. A trophy ceremony was held for Stamford was held Tuesday December 18, 2012 and a ceremony for Granby was held Friday December 21, 2012.