League member look at ‘primary’ concern for democracy

To the Editor:

Aug. 12 is Primary Day in Connecticut — a critical time for both Republicans and Democrats. And even, potentially, for unaffiliated voters.

Primaries are an important part of our democratic process. It’s when we, the people, or rather the people registered with the major parties, choose among multiple candidates for a particular office. The people choose, not the power brokers or the party elites. Direct election.

This year, both Republicans and Democrats in Fairfield have a choice to make. For Republicans, it will be their candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and comptroller. For Democrats, their candidate for Fairfield’s District 133 Assembly seat.

While Connecticut requires voters to register with a party to vote in primaries, unaffiliated voters who feel strongly for one candidate over another have the right to affiliate with a party.

How do you affiliate if unaffiliated? Simple. Pick up a form at the Registrar’s Office, the library or print one off the town website (fairfieldct.org). If you mail it, it must be postmarked no later than Aug. 7. Or go to the Registrar’s Office in person. You have until noon on Aug. 11. That’s a hard-and-fast deadline. Arrive at 12:01 p.m., and you are out of luck.

For those who have moved since the last election and have not changed your address on your voter registration, you need to do so. Democrats, make sure you are still in District 133. If you have any question about the district you reside in, call the Registrar’s Office (203-356-3115).

And don’t forget the absentee ballot. If you’ll be out of town on Primary Election Day, an illness or disability will prevent you from voting, you’re an active member of the US armed forces, religious beliefs prevent you from voting on Election Day, or you’ll be working as an election official at a polling place other than your own all hours of Primary Day, plan now to get an absentee ballot.

The town clerk’s office handles absentee ballots. Don’t leave it until the last moment, either. You need to apply for a ballot and, though far from an arduous task, it can take time if you are operating through the mails. Be sure to leave plenty of time for the application to get to the office, be processed, and the ballot to be mailed back. Anyone applying for the ballot can also do the paperwork in the town clerk’s office.

Polling places are the same as for November elections, with one important  exception. District 4 voters — Republican and Democratic — will vote at Fairfield Woods Middle School in this year’s primary. If you have any questions about where to vote, call the Registrar’s Office or drop in. It’s a friendly place.

Remember, Tuesday, Aug. 12 is the date. Polls are open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Primaries play an important role in determining what happens in our state elections, and your vote has a significant impact. Voting is a key opportunity to take control and make a difference on the issues that affect you, your family, your town and your future.


Bryce Perry and Peter Sibley


League of Women Voters of Fairfield

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