A lot going on: $150K authorization from Gov. Jodi Rell to figure out a future use of dormant Pleasure Beach, candidates galore on the campaign trail, a voter registration surge leading up to the presidential election, the Gathering Of The Vibes, the city’s annual hippie fest, poised for action next week at Seaside Park.
Funny thing about candidates qualifying for public financing–it’s kicked off mass phone calling into various legislative districts pushing candidate messages and identifying votes heading into Tsunami Tuesday Aug. 12. Voters are already suffering from call fatigue.
Hey, here’s an idea, candidates can do massive voter registration drives at Seaside Park, as P.T. Barnum’s gift to the city swells with visitors. In fact, it can be a joint effort among candidates. No, you knucklehead, not that kind of joint! Oh, well, you can check all things Vibe related here: www.gatheringofthevibes.com
Bysiewicz reports registration surge, news release from CT secretary of state
Hartford: Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz reports today that since January 1, 2008, more than 100,000 Connecticut residents have become newly registered voters. This total includes nearly 39,000 people who have registered since May 6th, an even higher total that the 90 day period immediately following the February 5th Presidential primary in Connecticut when 34,000 residents registered to vote. Young people (18-29 years-old) continue to be the driving force behind the latest registration surge; nearly 18,000 18-29 year-olds have registered since May 6th – the single largest group of new voters to register in this period. The latest numbers nearly match the period leading up to the February 5th primary when an incredible 40,000 Connecticut residents registered to vote.
“The 2008 elections are generating unprecedented interest in the political process, especially among our young voters,” said Secretary Bysiewicz, “This latest surge in voter registration keeps Connecticut on pace for a record 90% voter turnout in November.”
Currently, there are 1,923,848 registered voters in Connecticut. Among newly registered voters nearly 16,000 Democrats and 4,300 Republicans registered to vote. Additionally, 18,000 unaffiliated voters registered. Of the nearly 38,000 newly registered voters, more than 17,810 are between the ages of 18 and 29. Since May 6th, among newly registered younger voters, Democratic registration has outpaced Republican registration: 7,327 to 1,687. In fact, Democrats are the largest number of new voters to register in 2008. Since January 1st, more than 47,000 new voters have registered as Democrats, compared to 14,000 new Republicans and 38,000 residents registering as unaffiliated voters.
“To have registration for one political party outpace that of unaffiliated voters is unprecedented in Connecticut,” said Bysiewicz, “in this time of economic insecurity, war, and environmental peril, it is very clear that voters are engaged, they are paying close attention to the issues and the candidates. People want to make their voices heard, they are eager to participate in Democracy and they want a say in the future direction of this country.”
The Office of the Secretary of the State maintains an aggressive voter registration program working closely with community groups, high schools, universities and others to expand civic involvement among Connecticut residents. As part of her effort to increase voter registration in Connecticut, Secretary Bysiewicz this past year registered nearly 2,400 high school students. She has also conducted more than 200 voting machine demonstrations highlighting the new machines and registering voters. The Office of the Secretary of the State regularly registers new citizens to vote at naturalization ceremonies across Connecticut. Secretary Bysiewicz has also launched a statewide, non-partisan effort to register 10,000 new Latino voters which has so far added more than 2,200 Latinos to the voter rolls. The deadline to register to vote for the November 4th General Election is October 28th.