Connecticut Experiencing Surge in Voter Registration
Connecticut seeing surge of voter registrations since 2016 election
Connecticut residents are registering to vote at an unprecedented rate in a non-presidential election cycle, indicating increased interest in politics since President Donald Trump won the White House, analysts say.
According to data from the Connecticut Secretary of State’s office, from the 2016 election through June of this year, 81,908 new voters registered as Democrats, compared to 43,390 who registered as Republicans.
Including those who signed up as unaffiliated and for other, smaller parties, a total of 275,114 people have signed up to vote in Connecticut since the 2016 presidential election.
That’s a surge in voter registration in the state during a mid-term election cycle, when the number of those signing up to vote is usually depressed.
Connecticut Has Seen Voter Registration Surge
More than 275,000 people have registered to vote in Connecticut since 2016.
While political trends have certainly contributed to the steep increase in registrations, it’s become easier to register to vote in Connecticut during that period of time.
The state started registering and changing registrations at the Department of Motor Vehicles and that has led to a steady stream of sign-ups.
She said she hopes the increased number of registered voters in a non-presidential year also leads to a significantly higher turnout in the primary on August 14.
"I would be very happy about that because that's all about voter engagement,” Merrill said. “People, for the first time in a long time really want to be involved and whatever side they're on, they're interested and they're listening carefully."
Conn. sees youth surge in voter registration
The number of young voters who have registered since 2016 has tripled in Connecticut compared to four years ago - a sign of how deep the interest has reached in this year’s midterm elections.
More than 43,000 18-to-25-year-olds have registered to vote in Connecticut since Donald Trump was elected president - a 210 percent increase over the same 20-month-period after the 2012 general election, according to the state Board of Elections.
Connecticut’s youth voter surge is due to increased interest in issues such as school safety and immigration, as well as dedicated campaigns to register youth voters, and recent changes that make registration easier.
“There has clearly been an increase in voter registration and interest in the lead-up to the 2018 midterm election, and there is no doubt that is true among Connecticut’s young voters,” Secretary of State Denise Merrill said. “Our efforts to ensure that every eligible voter can register, and every registered voter votes are beginning to pay dividends.”
"The secretary of the state’s office is reporting that 275,114 new voters registered between the between November 2016 and July 2018, an increase over data collected 20 months out from the 2014 mid-term election.
The numbers showed a sharp increase among young voters registering aged 18-24. More than 43,000 new young voters registered during the latest period of review.
“That has been really the most surprising or I guess interesting development,” said Denise Merrill, Connecticut’s secretary of the state. “I think we have at least doubled the number of new registered voters between the ages of 18 and 24 when we compared it to a similar time just after the 2014 election.”
Merrill thinks another reason for the size of the increase is the new motor-voter law that prompts you to register to vote while you get something done at the DMV.
The first effects of the bump in registration could be seen in the upcoming August 14 primaries. Merrill said turnout is traditionally low for primaries, but this year, it could be higher than the 20-25 percent that usually come out to vote.
“I really think that more people are going to come out and vote in this primary,” Merrill said. “People are very aware now of politics and elections and voting in a way that I haven’t seen before.”"