In a rare instance of not trolling on the bottom of a 50 state list, Connectciut, announces Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz’s office ranked 7th in terms of increasing voting turnout between 2004 and 2008.
Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz today is reporting that a new survey by the US Census Bureau shows that Connecticut experienced one of the largest nationwide increases in voter turnout percentage between the presidential election years of 2004 and 2008, representing the 7th highest increase in the nation. The census numbers reveal that the percentage of the adult citizen population in Connecticut who cast ballots in the general election increased by 4% from 2004 to 2008. Connecticut was one of only 19 states in the country and two in the Northeast region to see such an increase during that time period.
“The 2008 Presidential Election was historic for many reasons, and Connecticut voters went to the polls in unprecedented numbers,” said Secretary Bysiewicz, Connecticut’s Chief Elections official. “I’m proud of our success making democracy vibrant, and I am encouraged at the healthy increase in voter participation. Clearly, Connecticut voters are engaged in the issues and the candidates. With statewide primaries just around the corner, I hope Connecticut voters maintain their enthusiasm and go to the polls on August 10th.”
Though the proportion of registered voters who cast ballots in Connecticut was 78% in 2008, the new US Census Bureau report entitled, “Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2008,” looked at the total number of adult citizens (eligible voters) who voted. The survey found that 67.2% of adult citizens in Connecticut voted in the 2008 general election as compared to 63.2% who turned out for the 2004 Presidential Election. While the overall voting percentage for the adult citizen population dipped slightly across the United States, the growth of Connecticut’s adult voting percentage ranked 7th in the country, and 1st in New England for such an increase between 2004 and 2008. The rise in voter turnout is especially significant for Connecticut because only the states of Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, Louisiana, Virginia, and the District of Columbia had larger increases. Many elections experts have attributed strong voter turnout in those states to the overwhelming response among the significant population of African American voters to the candidacy of President Barack Obama. A full version of the Census report is available at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/p20-562.pdf
Secretary Bysiewicz is also pointing out that in terms of overall voter turnout in 2008, Connecticut ranked 4th in New England behind New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island. Both New Hampshire and Maine have implemented Election Day registration, no-fault absentee voting, or early voting and turnout in both states was among the highest in the nation in 2008.
“I have consistently advocated for Election Day registration and no-fault absentee voting because making it convenient to cast ballots will increase voter turnout. This study clearly shows that states in our region that have adopted these reforms have between 5% and 10% higher voter turnout than Connecticut,” said Secretary Bysiewicz. “Enacting EDR and no-excuse absentee ballots in Connecticut could significantly increase our voter turnout and it’s long past time to make these reforms law.”
Secretary Bysiewicz is also urging anyone interested in casting a ballot in 2010 to register to vote before the August 10th statewide primary. Registration forms sent by mail must be postmarked no later than Thursday, August 5th. The deadline for in person registration at town offices is Monday, August 9th at 12:00 p.m. Unaffiliated voters also face those same deadlines if they wish to register with a party in order to vote in the primary.
Her office helpfully supplied just how many registered voters have been added since January 2010:
NEW VOTERS REGISTERED SINCE 1/1/2010
Connecticut For Lieberman 2
And here’s the latest registered voter totals:
CONNECTICUT ACTIVE REGISTERED VOTERS AS OF 6/16/10
A Better Future 5
A Sentinel Party 33
Canterbury First 3
Chatham Party 9
Concerned Citizens 225
Connecticut For Lieberman 102
Enfield Taxpayers Party 2
Friends Of Saybrook 12
Independence For Montville 10
Milford Independent Party 3
Norwich for Change 1
Realistic Balance 1
The Hampton Party 4
Waterford Independent 1
We The People 54
Winsted Independent 43
Working Families 120