Monroe voters back the two frontrunners for the 2024 Presidential Election

Voters participate in the Presidential Primaries inside the St. Jude School gym Tuesday afternoon.

MONROE, CT — Red and white voter parking signs marked off spaces in front of the brick St. Jude School building at 707 Monroe Turnpike, and a sandwich board sign with the American flag and the words “Vote here” was displayed on the sidewalk by the front entrance Tuesday. It was the first time the venue was used as the sole polling place for a town election.

Inside the gym, residents cast their votes in the Democratic and Republican parties’ Presidential Primaries. Checkers worked at rows of tables, one for each party, other tables provided private areas to fill out ballots, and poll workers were on hand to assist people at the voting machine.

Gary Zenobia, a deputy registrar of voters (D), watched the activity around him while volunteering at a table that afternoon.

“We’re loving it,” he said. “People are saying they like one voting place. They like the parking and we’re reminding them that the budget referendum will also be here on May 7.”

While St. Jude will serve as the polling place for these smaller elections, the November elections will always be held at the town’s four polling places: Fawn Hollow Elementary School (District 1), Stepney Elementary School (District 2), Monroe Elementary School (District 3) and Masuk High School (District 4).

The reason the primaries were held at St. Jude was for safety and to avoid disrupting the schools when classes are in session. St. Jude will also be the sole polling place for the May 7 budget referendum, when voting will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

A resident casts his vote during the Presidential Primaries at St. Jude School Tuesday.

“It’s relatively light, but it’s running smoothly,” said Town Treasurer Frank Dutches, who was serving as moderator Tuesday. “A single polling place is good for a vote that’s not heavy and it’s probably a good preview for the referendum, which will be here.”

Signs for the referendum were posted for voters to see as they arrived at the school and left the gym.

Diane Cisero, whose regular polling place is at Monroe Elementary School, participated in the Republican Primary.

“I think it’s great. I love it,” she said of the vote being held at St. Jude. “The parking is great. You don’t have to deal with traffic. It’s convenient. And I don’t mind saying I voted for Donald Trump — and I hope he gets in, not for me, but for America.”

St. Jude School, 707 Monroe Turnpike, was the sole polling place for Tuesday’s elections.

The former president was on the ballot with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley (the former governor of South Carolina, who had resigned to serve as U.S. ambassador in the Trump Administration) and Ryan Binkley (a pastor and businessman from Texas).

On Tuesday, Trump was the top vote getter in Monroe with 368 votes, winning his primary against Haley (58), DeSantis (13) and Binkley (1), according to the unofficial results.

Other registered Republicans cast 14 votes for “Uncommitted”.

President Joe Biden, the favorite on the Democratic Party ballot, faced Marianne Williamson (an author, political activist, and spiritual thought leader), Dean Phillips (a congressman from Minnesota), and Cenk Uygur (co-creator of “The Young Turks”, a left-wing, progressive, sociopolitical news and commentary program).

Biden easily won his primary, garnering 296 votes to 10 for Williamson, 1 for Phillips and zero for Uygur, while 36 were “Uncommitted”, according to the unofficial results.

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