Students must affiliate with party for Connecticut primary voting


Taylor Nicole Richards – News Writer

The Connecticut presidential primary registration deadlines are coming up very soon. April 26 is the official date set for the Democratic and Republican primaries, and anyone who is unaffiliated cannot vote in a primary. Anyone who is not registered yet or registered as unaffiliated or independent has until April 21 to re-register as a Republican or Democrat online or through the mail, but has until April 25 to change affiliation if they do it through their respective town hall.

If anyone cannot make it to the polls on April 26, they can apply to vote through an absentee ballot. An absentee ballot is a vote submitted in advance either through the mail or in person. If anyone at Southern is already registered to vote in their hometown but cannot make it home on primary or election day, they can vote by absentee.

“I’m not sure who I’m voting for yet, but I’m registered to vote as a Republican in my hometown of Windsor,” said Kennedy Hanks, exercise science major. “I’m in the process of submitting an absentee ballot since I live on campus and don’t want to drive all the way back just to vote.”

To vote by an absentee ballot, one must already be registered to vote. Anyone in Connecticut can register to vote by mail, at town hall, or through an online registration tool. The online tool can immediately be found by googling “Connecticut online voter registration” and only takes a few minutes. After registering online, one can chose to receive their confirmation letter by mail or email that discloses their local polling place.

After registering, one has to make sure they are eligible to vote absentee ballot. According to longdistancevoter.org, the conditions to vote by absentee are: “You will be absent from town during all the hours of voting, you are ill, you have a physical disability which makes it difficult for you to get to the polls, your religion forbids you from participating in non-religious activities on election day, or your required performance of duties as a primary, referendum, or election official at a polling place other than your own during all the hours on election day.”

Absentee voters must submit an application by mail or fax to their town clerk. They will process the application then mail the absentee ballot. Anyone voting by absentee must submit their original application along with the ballot when they do send in their vote.

There is no deadline for applying for absentee, but it is recommended to submit the application a month before the election. Absentee ballots are due a day before election day in person and by 8 p.m. by mail on election day.

Miya Cox, freshman business major, said she is not planning on voting in the primaries, but plans on voting in November. She is registered as an independent and does not plan on picking one side.

“I don’t want to register as a Democrat or Republican because I don’t agree with everything on one side,” said Cox. “I don’t want to be directly affiliated with one party, even if that means not voting in the primaries.”

To vote on primary or election day, one must present a valid state identification, like a driver’s license. If anyone is already registered but does not know where their polling place is, they can google “find my polling place” and get redirected to Connecticut’s specific search page through the first link.

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