HARTFORD, Conn. — We are just four weeks away from the Connecticut primaries, which take place on Aug. 9. FOX61 has what voters need to prepare for that day.
A big topic is how to register to vote. It may seem simple, but this is what's stopping many people from heading to the polls on primary day.
"The number one reason in the United States why people don't vote in elections is that they didn't get registered. And the number one reason why they don't get registered is they don't know how," said Dr. Scott McLean, a political science professor at Quinnipiac University.
In Connecticut, not only do people need to be registered to vote ahead of primary day, but they also need to be registered to a specific party. Independent voters will need to wait until the general election to cast their ballot.
But how do you know if you are registered to a party? There's an easy way to check. All you have to do is head to The Office of Secretary of the State's website by clicking here. then, enter your name, town and birthday, and it will tell you whether you are registered to a specific party.
Now, when it comes to deadlines, voters should pay attention to the following:
- Mail-in voter registration applications must be postmarked five days ahead of the primary election, which is Aug. 9.
- Online voter registration needs to be done by Aug. 8.
- In-person registration at your registrar
- You may apply in person to your town clerk or registrar until noon on the last business day before a primary, which is Aug. 8.
- If you are 17 years old and turning 18 by the primaries, you can pre-register and it will activate by your birthday.
"But what we're seeing in Connecticut is a lot of people who are unaffiliated. Unaffiliated is the number one largest block of voters. And even among people who are registered to vote, either they don't know about the primary, or they don't think there's anything at stake, and so they step away," McLean said.
One age group McLean said everyone needs to work on is young voters.
"One of the things we know in political science about voter psychology is that voting is a habit, and it's a habit you have to acquire," McLean said. "So, younger people typically don't vote partially because they don't pay taxes that much, they're not paying as much attention to the news as older folks. But the real key is, younger people haven't yet acquired the idea that voting is a civic obligation, and that it's a habit that you get into."
For more information on voting deadlines in Connecticut, click here.
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