Early voting for the Republican Caucus will be held at Town Hall today from 5 to 9 p.m. More than 600 residents voted June 25, the first early voting date, for key positions including first selectman, Board of Selectmen, Town Council and town clerk.

"I was extremely satisfied with the turnout. Six hundred and eleven voters for an early vote is indicative of a very engaged electorate," first selectman candidate Rob Mallozzi said about the turnout June 25. "I think folks want to make sure that their voices are heard in a tough summer time when they may not be here for the caucus. Hats off to the RTC for allowing the residents to do that."

RTC Chairman James O'Hora said that while he was not sure of the exact number of early voters in previous elections, "this is definitely an increase." Mallozzi recalls around 125 voters coming out in 2007 for the early vote, making this a dramatic increase in participation.

O'Hora also said the ballots have been locked up and kept under the watchful eye of the New Canaan Police Department. They will not be opened or tallied until the night of the caucus.

E. Irene Barrack, the RTC secretary, discussed the advantages and disadvantages of early voting. She said this practice has been employed for at least the last five years though there was some discussion this year as to whether or not it should be allowed.

Barrack explained that some Republicans feel as if the caucus may in fact be the last venue where candidates have the opportunity to sell themselves to voters. On the flip side, Barrack also said the early voting dates can accommodate many in town who leave during the month of July.

Both Mallozzi and first selectman candidate Paul Giusti lauded the early voting dates implemented once again by the RTC.

"With over 600 people voting on Saturday, it is clear that there is a lot of energy, interest and enthusiasm surrounding this election," Giusti said. "It was great to see so many friends, neighbors and supporters stopping by Town Hall to cast their vote. The number of people taking advantage of the opportunity to vote early is well in excess of anything we have seen in prior elections. Certainly, democracy is alive and well in New Canaan."

The actual caucus is scheduled to be July 19 at Saxe Middle School and will decide the Republican endorsement for several positions in town including first selectman, one selectman, town treasurer, town clerk, three members of the Board of Education, three members of the Board of Assessment Appeals, four members of Town Council and four constables. All of the positions have a two-year term with the exception of the Board of Education, which has a four-year term.

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