Voters waited more than half an hour to vote in some locations — even in the middle of the afternoon, a traditionally slower voting time — as Bristol residents flood the polls.
Voter Jackie Savoie said she stood for 35 minutes to cast her vote at the Quinta-Gamelin Center, as voters — particularly those in the Q-Z line — lined up to wait their turn. At about 2:30 p.m., more than 1,200 votes had been cast at the center.
The story is the same at other locations as Bristol residents turn out for their candidates. More than 700 voters cast their ballots at the Fire Department headquarters before 1 p.m., according to Antonio Teixeira, a candidate for Bristol Town Administrator.
"It's been very consistent with voters coming out," Teixeira said. "There's been very positive energy. People are very serious about what's going on."
As for his own race, Teixeira said he's heard a lot of positive feedback and is confident in his chances in what could be a close race with Town Councilman David Barboza. "It's difficult to gauge where it's going right now ... whether it's going to be a close race or not," he said.
Barboza expressed equal optimism while dropping voters off at the polls at the RI Veterans home, where his opponent was also campaigning. "It's been positive," he said. "My message of experience has really resonated with voters."
There certainly appears to be a higher than usual turnout, according to Bristol Town Clerk Louis Cirillo, whose office has been fielding a constant stream of callers asking whether they're registered and where they should go to vote. But despite the frenetic pace, there have been no problems reported, he said.
"Things are running smoothly here," Cirillo said while knocking on a wooden counter in his office. "The equipment is in all the right places and all equipment is working. Everything has been OK."
Polls remain open until 8 p.m. tonight. To find out where to vote and to follow the election throughout the day — incuding results as soon as they are available — check out the Bristol-Warren Patch Election Day guide here.