“I think if you want your voice heard you need to participate.”
Patricia Santoro of Farmington has a point, but the deadline to participate is looming. Voters have through Friday to register for the primary via mail, online, or at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Online registration will stay open until midnight. In person-registration ends at noon on Monday.
Pocketbook issues are driving many voters to the polls this year.
“Our taxes are astronomical,” said New Britain resident Anetta Boksz-Paradis.
“I was a former state employee and I don’t think things should be taken away,” said Betty Petraniuk, also of New Britain.
Tuesday’s primary includes an open field in four of the state’s six constitutional offices - governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, and attorney general, with the current occupants deciding not to seek re-election. The only incumbents running are in the secretary of the state’s office and the comptroller.
“We have the largest number of people registering to vote than ever in living memory,” said the Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.
She said 275,000 new voters have signed up in Connecticut since the 2016 election. She added that there are 449,000 Republicans and 446,000 Democrats currently registered.
“Whether that translates into primary voters I’m not sure. It’s the middle of the summer,” said Merrill.
Merrill said in the best of primary elections voter turnout is only 25 percent. However, the first indicator that this year’s primary may buck the turnout trend is already evident to Merrill.
“If voter registration is any measure of anything, yes there’s a lot more interest,” she said.
Still, the biggest voting population in the state is unaffiliated and won’t be able to vote next Tuesday. Unaffiliated voters are only allowed to vote in general elections, not primaries.
To vote on Tuesday you must declare a party. The deadline to change parties has already passed.
“If you don’t commit to a party you don’t have as much influence,” said Paul Carver of Old Saybrook.
“It’s your right, it’s your duty, it’s your privilege and if you want things changed you gotta vote,” added Petraniuk.