Update 9 p.m.
Republican First Selectman Maurice Blanchette has defeated his Democratic challenger, Robert Hoffman, and earned a second term as the town’s chief elected official.
Based on unofficial numbers released by election officers and the candidates, Blanchette defeated Hoffman by roughly 360 votes.
Hoffman has conceded the race to the incumbent even though the final numbers, including those from the second district, have yet to be officially announced.
Based on the unofficial results, it appears that voters returned all of the Republican incumbents to office, along with a few of their Democratic counterparts.
Voter turnout was initially reported to be about 17 percent, but the figure was later revised upward.
Update, 6 p.m.
The candidates standing outside Ellington High School are wearing jackets now as the sun sets and local commuters begin arriving to vote in larger numbers.
Still, the turnout here is about 13 percent -- half of what it was two years ago at this time.
"People are focused on other things now," one candidate observes.
Power crews up the road have reduced the percentage of residents without electricity to 3.
Update, 3 p.m.
Deputy Registrar of Voters Bobbie Printy, moderator of the poll at Ellington High School, reports that voter turnout has now reached 10 percent there.
Outside on the sidewalk, first selectman challenger Bob Hoffman and incumbent First Selectman Maurice Blanchette stand in the sun greeting townspeople as they show up to vote.
The beautiful 67-degree weather is a stark contrast to the piles of snow on the edges of the parking lot. It is a small reminder of the extensive damage caused by last week's freak snow storm. Today's election is the beginning of a return to normalcy for a town that has been without power and in emergency mode for eight days.
Blanchette, a Republican seeking his second term as first selectman, admits he never anticipated that his job as the town's chief executive would require him to coordinate an emergency response of such scale and spend a week in a shelter himself.
"I met a lot of folks I didn't know before," he says, "and slept next to some of them."
Still, he wants another term, he says, his voice a little raspy from days spent talking to constituents or other public officials.
Challenger Hoffman, a police officer and planning board member, spent a lot of time in the shelter, too; and observes that neither he nor Blanchette have had the election in mind or done any campaigning in the last week. "People had more important things to do," he says, and knocking on doors would be neither appropriate or safe.
Hoffman is a Democrat who wants to take the town in a new direction, he says. Ellington is historically conservative, and has only had three Democratic first selectmen in its history, he says. "I hope to be the fourth."
Update, 11 a.m.
As of 10 a.m., Moderator Bobbie Printy says 3 percent - 377 people - have voted, which is half as many as 2009 at this time of day.
"It's been steady, a constant little flux of people, its just not adding up quickly," poll worker Lisa Ouellette added. "Usually after work we get a big flurry."
Crystal Lake Elementary School was at 4 percent as of 11 a.m.
According to the town's Web site, Ellington's two polling stations will be open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. at:
- District 1: , 37 Maple St.
- District 2: , 284 Sandy Beach Rd.
If you have a question about your voting status or need any other voter related information contact one of these offices:
- Registrars of Voters Office at 860-870-3107
- Town Clerk’s Office at 860-870-3105
If you prefer to look for your information online, complete Ellington election information can also be found at the Ellington Registrars of Voters Web site.
Curious about the candidates? We've got you covered. To review all of Ellington-Somers Patch's election coverage . There you'll find candidate profiles and other stories related to the Ellington election.
Check back throughout the day as we expect to update this document from the polls, share photo galleries, and tell about life in Ellington on Election Day.
Patch Writer Barbara Bresnahan contributed to this report.