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Young Adults Register To Vote In Droves Across Connecticut Before Primary

Bernie Sanders addresses a large crowd at Marist College before the New York primary. The majority of new voters in Connecticut have signed up as Democrats. The largest group has been young adults under the age of 30.
Bernie Sanders addresses a large crowd at Marist College before the New York primary. The majority of new voters in Connecticut have signed up as Democrats. The largest group has been young adults under the age of 30. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Young adults in Connecticut are showing a big interest in this year's presidential campaign — with tens of thousands of people under the age of 30 registering to vote in advance of Tuesday's primary election in the Nutmeg State.

More than 45,000 people under the age of 30 have registered to vote in Connecticut in 2016, according to Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

"Of new voters who registered in 2016, people under 30 years old are the largest group," Merrill said in a statement. "These are young people who we hope will make a lifelong habit of participating in our democracy. This is exciting and there is nothing like competitive races to get people engaged."

From Jan. 1 to April 21, a total of 39,179 people between the ages of 18 and 29 registered to vote, she said. Typically, about two-thirds registered online. They are among the record-breaking 87,085 people in Connecticut who have registered to vote in that time period.

An additional 6,064 people under the age of 18 also registered in 2016 because 17-year-old voters who turn 18 before the general election are allowed to register to vote and participate in the primary in Connecticut, Merrill said.

The breakdown by age of new registrations from Jan. 1 to April 21 is:

  • Under 18: 6,064
  • 18 to 29: 39,179
  • 30 to 44: 21,521
  • 45 to 59: 12,788
  • 60 or older: 9,234

The party breakdown for new registrations under the age of 30 is:

  • Democrat: 23,964
  • Republican: 8,387
  • Unaffiliated: 12,238

The party breakdown of all voters in Connecticut under the age of 30 is:

  • Democrat: 121,254
  • Republican: 49,078
  • Unaffiliated: 135,673
  • Total: 311,709
The Connecticut primary will be held Tuesday, with voting from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters must be a member of a political party to cast a ballot.

A professor at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield is predicting big wins for Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Connecticut primary.

Other Democrats on the ballot are Bernie Sanders and Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente. Other Republicans on the ballot are John Kasich and Ted Cruz.

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