7 Days of the Election in Storrs
19,241 University of Connecticut students. Three main competing gubernatorial candidates. Seven days, nine articles and seven different aspects of the 2018 election in Storrs, Connecticut. From the Mansfield Registrar of Voters, to the student organizations pushing for voters, to the candidates themselves, these are their stories.
Amidst the darkness of the November morning, the Mansfield Town Hall was lit, a hub of activity in the gloom. The parking lot was a carousel of Ubers; the company facilitated Election Day by offering discounted rides to the polls. A registration sign stood in front of the building, and a “VOTE HERE” sign accompanied a line of more than 20 voters.
Day 1 of 7: Preparations
The phones are ringing off of the hook at 3:30 p.m. in a small office in the Mansfield Town Hall. Patrons shuffle in and out, filling out paperwork, fighting to be heard over ringtones and background noise.
Caroline Redding sits at the center of it all, passing completed voter registration forms back and forth between her coworkers, answering phone calls and entering information on her aged desktop.
Day 2 of 7: Civic duty on and off campus
In Room 216 of the Student Union, office cubicles are plastered with Halloween and fall decor. Artificial leaves and pumpkins hang from desks. A yellow wallpaper on the door displays a witch hat and the words “Happy Halloween.” Inside, paper skeletons and cotton spider webs are dispersed around the walls. For members of USG, the decorations mean something else is coming: elections. Not only does USG have to handle Nov. 6 midterms this year, but the organization is also hosting a special election for senators on the same day.
Day 3 of 7: The rising independent
A raspy voice picks up the phone. It is four in the afternoon. The call is clearly held amidst the hustle and bustle of a very busy schedule. Without missing a beat, a friendly “Good afternoon,” cuts through the background noise.
“Call me Oz,” Oz Griebel said with a light laugh. He was quick to diminish any formality; he made it clear he was honored to be interviewed.
Day 4 of 7: UConn shows some support for Lamont, some support for Stefanowski and Griebel
With only four days before the election, University of Connecticut student support for Gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont (D) is high. His opponents, Bob Stefanowski (R) and Oz Griebel (I) rank low and close, according to a poll conducted by the Daily Campus. The poll had 63 responses and showed a 66 percent support for Lamont, 17 percent for Stefanowski and 12 percent for Griebel.
Day 5 of 7: The Democrats prepare
On a cold crisp Saturday morning days before the midterm elections, Democrat volunteers are making phone calls and shuffling in and out of campaign headquarters in Storrs Center. Students from the University of Connecticut College Democrats and residents of Mansfield have been working tirelessly daily to spread the word about Democratic candidates.
Day 6 of 7: The Republicans rally
It was a cold Monday evening and the streets winding in and out of Storrs Center were quiet and empty, except for the business occupying 33 Wilbur Cross Way. The University of Connecticut College Republicans, volunteers and Republican Party supporters filed into Grill 86 for one last call-to-action before the looming election. One last rally before casting their ballots to determine the future of Connecticut. The atmosphere inside the bar was dark, but the mood was light, as optimistic smiles and congratulatory handshakes were exchanged between party supporters. This wasn’t just a rally; this was a victory lap.
Day 7 of 7: Election 2018 | Who’s who and what’s what
Democrat Ned Lamont, Republican Bob Stefanowski and Independent Oz Griebel will face off to become Connecticut’s next governor.
The Night Before
It’s Monday night, and it’s raining in Storrs. Weary candidates put the finishing touches on campaigns that have spanned months. The Registrar of Voters in Mansfield remain exponentially busy throughout the day, as they make final preparations before polls open. Connecticut waits for its new governor.
Elsewhere, University of Connecticut students and voters statewide are meticulously combing through candidate platforms, reviewing referendums and attempting to solidify their ballots.