Fairfield Election Day: Turnout is steady, Hwang argues with student about socialism
UPDATE: 7 p.m.
An hour before polls close, 15,825 Fairfielders had voted. On average, 40 percent of the registered voters in each district had voted.
District 9 led the pack in voter turnout, while Districts 6 and 7 had the lowest turnout.
FAIRFIELD — Election Day is here, and voter turnout has been steady so far.
As of 4 p.m., the Fairfield Registrar of Voters reported that 12,456 people had voted so far. On average, roughly 32 percent of registered voters in each district had voted by that time.
The highest turnout of registered voters so far has been in District 3, followed closely by Districts 8 and 9. The lowest turnout has been in District 6.
Despite a contentious campaign season, the polls have been relatively calm so far. Candidates and volunteers have lined the approaches to voting stations, vying for support and answering voters’ questions.
The most heated altercation of the day has been, perhaps surprisingly, about the merits of socialism. Republican State Sen. Tony Hwang reportedly got into an argument Tuesday morning with a high school student volunteer representing the Warde Young Democratic Socialists of America at Dwight Elementary School, the District 1 polling place.
The exchange allegedly got heated, bringing the student to tears and prompting a Facebook post from her mother that circulated on social media. Hwang said he apologized to the student and later posted a written apology, explaining that his family’s personal experience in communist China has made him passionate about socialist ideology.
Reached for comment, Hwang reiterated his apology and explained his personal connection to the topic.
“I shared with her my perspective, as a family that was impacted by communism and martial law. I spoke very passionately about those types of real life experiences and impacts,” Hwang said. “Upon realizing that she was impacted by the way I spoke, I did go back and apologize.”