Voting was as brisk as the early morning 28 degree Fahrenheit weather in Falls Village, Connecticut, the second smallest town in the state. With a population of around 1,100, Falls Village has 743 voters – 252 Democrats, 194 Republicans, 292 Unaffiliated, and 5 Other. By 11 a.m. around 325 people had already voted – that’s 43 percent voter turnout with the poll open for another nine hours.
Connecticut is infamous for its anti-Indian politicians, who don’t want another federally acknowledged tribe in the state for fear of losing the state’s 25 percent cut of slot revenues – off the top – from the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation‘s Foxwoods Resort Casino and the Mohegan Tribe‘s Mohegan Sun. Former Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (now Sen. Richard Blumenthal), for example, is well known in Indian country for his relentless – and successful – opposition to the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation’s (STN) federal recognition. But there’s one bright spot on the ballot – Democrat Elizabeth Esty, who is running against Republican state Sen. Andrew Roraback for the state’s 5th District congressional seat. Roraback worked with Blumenthal and other state politicians against the STN. During the campaign leading up to today’s vote, Roraback kept his distance from the state’s tribes; Esty, on the other hand, held a “meet and greet” at the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, Connecticut, that was hosted by the STN.