Saturday, July 20, 2024

August Primaries Explained!

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Ask the Registrar – Stratford, CT

Your place for answers about voting and local elections in Stratford

By Registrar Of Voters James Simon (D)

Q. Do we know if there is a primary election in Stratford in August?  Why have another primary when we just had one in April?

A: All Stratford Democrats and Republicans did have the option of voting in an April 2nd primary for whom their party’s candidate for president should be. However, there also will be party primaries in August because some candidates for state office who were endorsed by their party were challenged by insurgent candidates.

So there is an August 13th primary election in Stratford —  but whether you are eligible to vote depends on your party and voting location.

All registered Republicans town-wide can vote in a primary to help decide which GOP candidate should oppose Democratic incumbent U.S. Senator Chris Murphy:  Beacon Falls First Selectman Gerry Smith, who was endorsed by the GOP, vs. challenger Matthew Corey. That is the only office on the GOP ballot; again, every registered Republican is eligible to vote, in Stratford and statewide.

Q. How about if I am a Democrat?

A: It’s complicated. Really complicated.

If you live in state Senate District 23 — which includes parts of Stratford’s District 1 (Lordship School), D3 (Johnson House) and D4 (Franklin School) —   yes you can vote on August 13th for one of two Democratic candidates: the incumbent Democratic state Sen. Herron Gaston, or challenger Ernest Newton III, who once held the seat. Newton gathered enough petition signatures to force a primary.

Again, that is the only office on the Democratic ballot. Turnout is going to be extremely light in both primaries.

Q. So how do I know if I live in state Senate District 23?

The state does not make it easy to check. You can go to https://portaldir.ct.gov/sots/LookUp.aspx and supply your name and address. In the middle of the screen, you will get your polling location, followed by your state Assembly District number and then the state Senate District number. For example, my own information says:

Polling Location Address
State: Chapel Street School 120 21

So I vote at Chapel Street School. My state Assembly District is 120. My state Senate district is 21.  So I am not eligible to vote in the August 13th Democratic primary since it is only for Democrats in Senate District 23.

Q. And you wonder why turnout is so low?

It’s even worse. There are 1,265 Democrats in District 1 who may want to vote, but only 67 Democrats  from D1 are in Senate District 23 and therefore eligible. The numbers are better in District 3, where 1,683 Democrats out of 1,817 are eligible. And in D4, 617 of the 1,270 Democrat are eligible. 

Again if you want to know your status, try the web site listed above. If you are still have questions, e-mail us at [email protected] and we will look up your voting status and let you know.

Q. So if I am unaffiliated or not associated with a political party, I get cheated and I can’t vote in a party primary in Connecticut?

A: Connecticut is a “closed primary” state: only party members get to vote in a party primary. Nationwide, that is the norm: in 30 of the 50 states, neither major political party offers an “open primary” where non-party members could take part.

ELECTION  QUESTIONS? SEND THEM TO STRATFORD REGISTRAR JAMES SIMON;  This is not an official publication of the Town of Stratford. (Vol. 4, No. 6; June 2024)

James Simon   
Registrar of Voters (D)   
Town of Stratford2725 Main St.   
Stratford CT 06615   
203 385 4049[email protected]  

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