Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie)

HARTFORD, CT — The number of registered voters in Connecticut has reached 2.16 million. That’s higher than Secretary of the State Denise Merrill can remember it ever being for a state of 3.5 million people.

Between November 2016 and Oct. 31 of this year, 107,104 new voters have registered as Democrats, 51,485 have registered as Republicans and 155,040 have registered as unaffiliated voters. That brings the total number of Democratic voters in Connecticut up to 791,603, with 462,948 Republicans and 876,517 unaffiliated.

While Merrill was hesitant Thursday to predict what turnout might be on Nov. 6, she said she anticipates it would be somewhere between 55 and 65 percent, but probably closer to 65 percent.

“It’s an unusual year,” Merrill said. “I’m thinking it’s going to be on the higher side. But it’s an unusual year in terms of registrations.”

She said they are advising towns to order extra ballots and in some locations they are ordering 100 percent of the ballots, which assumes every registered voter in the town will come out to vote on Nov. 6.

Merrill said it might be more than they need “but this is an unusual year.”

Towns must now report to her office the number of ballots ordered for each election. It’s a result of what happened in Bridgeport in 2010 when the city didn’t order enough and former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz needed to get a court order to keep the polling locations open longer so that voters were not disenfranchised.

Carol Reimers, president of the League of Women Voters, urged voters to have a plan.

“We know if you make a plan for Election Day we know that there’s a better turnout,” Reimers said.

She said they should check to make sure they are registered properly and know where they are going on Election Day. She said they should also think about when they will go to the polls.

Sue Larsen, president of the Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut, said there will be same-day registration for those who haven’t registered to vote, but “please come early.”

Larsen said coming five minutes before the polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday means they won’t have enough time to get the information into the system before the polls close.

“You must be a voter in the system at 8 p.m. in order to vote,” Larsen said.

She said if a voter checks their status online and it says “inactive,” go to the polling location and the moderator will “reactivate you.” She urged those voters not to clog up the “same day” registration line, which is typically at town hall or another central location in town.

Long lines for same-day registration have been typical in large cities like Hartford and New Haven.

Merrill also pointed out that in at least 29 towns the ballots will be double-sided this year because of the number of candidates and the two constitutional amendment questions at the end.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Secretary of the state Denise Merrill talks about Election Day prep.

Posted by on Thursday, November 1, 2018