Primary Elections are a Yay! Not a Yawn

To the Editor:

Tuesday, August 14 is Primary Election Day in Connecticut for both Democratic and Republican parties. Wait! Before you turn the page, consider why the Primaries are important. Rather than a minor triviality, it is actually one of the most important stages in the election process. Why? Well, for one thing, primary campaigns are a key way voters get to know the candidates. Both state parties hold conventions and endorse one candidate for a position, true. But during the primary campaigns, the voters get to know actual possible candidates — what they stand for, what they hold important, what they will do should they get into office. And then the voters get to decide who will actually carry that party’s standard into battle, party endorsement or not.

Even if a primary candidate loses the party Primary, depending on what kind of strength he or she shows in the election can influence how what he or she holds as important shapes the party’s final platform — for that particular office and for the party as a whole.

And here’s the kicker. Primaries give Connecticut voters an additional way to take part in choosing who will lead our state. Why give that up to anyone else?

The League of Women Voters encourages voters who chose to affiliate with the Republican or the Democratic party to exercise their rights and their responsibilities by voting on Tuesday, Aug. 14, from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. If you are not registered, you can do so at the Registrar of Voters office (611 Old Post Road) or directly with the Secretary of the State’s office through the website (and others, as well). Those who have never registered before, have until August 9 (or online at the Secretary of the State’s website, until midnight on August 9). And if you are unaffiliated but feel strongly about the candidates in one of those parties, there’s still time beyond that. If those voters show up in person at the Registrar of Voters office (611 Old Post Road), they have up to Aug. 13 at noon to affiliate with one of them. All it takes is a few minutes, but get there before noon — that’s the deadline.

And Flash! for younger voters who are 17 but will turn 18 on or before Election Day, November 18: You can register now and vote in the Primary Election (if you affiliate with either the Democratic or Republican Party).

Going to be away on August 14? You can pick up an Absentee Ballot application now at the Town Clerk’s office (611 Old Post Road) or check for a direct link to online absentee ballot applications. Don’t hesitate!

Margaret Mary Fitzgerald

Bryce Perry

Co-Presidents, League of Women Voters of Fairfield

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