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State election officials talk about voter turnout expectations ahead of primary day

In Connecticut, turnout is usually between 20% and 30%, but election officials say it all depends on how interested residents are in the races on the ballot.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut’s primary election is Tuesday, Aug. 9 and state officials are preparing for residents to hit the ballot boxes - just not as many as they would see during a general election.

Across the country, voter turnout in primary elections is typically lower than in general elections.

In Connecticut, turnout is usually between 20 and 30%, but state election officials say it all depends on how interested residents are in the races on the ballot.

RELATED: 2022 Connecticut primary voter guide: Everything you need to know before heading to the polls

“Historically, in primary elections, this time of year, it's usually between 20 and 30%,” said Connecticut’s Deputy Secretary of the State Scott Bates. “That all depends really on the intensity of the campaigns, how much advertising might be done and are people aware that there's an election.”

State data shows voter turnout for the 2020 primary election was about 28%.

In the parties, turnout was nearly 23% for Republicans and almost 35% for Democrats.

“This is an opportunity for people's voices to be heard,” Bates said. “It's how our democracy works. That's why Election Day is so important. It's why it's important people stand up and be counted.”

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Most recent data shows 2,206,429 active voters total in Connecticut. 911,419 of those are unaffiliated, meaning they aren’t registered with a particular party and therefore can’t vote in a primary election.

That leaves about 1.3 million active voters eligible for the primary.

“We'll see how it goes this election,” said Bates. “That might tell us something about voter interest in the elections in November too.”

RELATED: Trump endorses GOP U.S. Senate candidate Leora Levy

Election officials can use Tuesday’s turnout data to gauge voter expectations for November.

The primary is just the first hurdle for the candidates, though–those who win Tuesday will see their names on the general election ballot in November.

Emma Wulfhorst is a political reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at ewulfhorst@fox61.com. Follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


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