Large share of young people using Connecticut’s online voter registration

Print More

Nearly 40,000 residents have used Connecticut’s new online system to register to vote since it went online in 2014.

In 2012, to increase voter registration and participation in elections, the Connecticut legislature passed “An Act Concerning Voting Rights” to allow those with a driver’s license to register online.

In 2014, about 24,000 residents registered to vote using the system. Another 17,000 used it in 2015.

“The numbers are incredibly exciting,” said Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill. “To see tens of thousands of voters utilizing the system in years when we don’t always see extraordinary participation, shows me that there is a real appetite for this.”

Nearly 42 percent of those who registered online in 2014 were between the ages of 18 and 29.

“I think this shows us that if we build it, they will come,” said Merrill. “So what else can we do to bring them in and get them voting? That’s something I am constantly thinking about.”

Trend CT took a look at the town-by-town registration numbers.

West Haven and Southington were among the towns with the highest per capita online registrations. Some of the more interesting races recently occurred in those towns. Competitive elections engage local voters, said Merrill.

Online voter registration by party
Party 2014 2015
A Brookfield Party 1 3
Democratic 6256 6631
Green 33 23
Independent 420 256
Libertarian 94 41
Milford Independent Party 0 2
Republican 4854 3135
Unaffiliated 10816 6096
Working Families 4 0

Unaffiliated online registrants far outnumbered those who chose to affiliate with a party. Merrill said that might be because many of them are general election voters who pay more attention to general elections than party primaries. “I’d like to remind people that if they want to vote in the primaries – which are offering some exciting choices – they need to register with one of the parties,” she said.

Merrill said officials are still considering ways to improve access, convenience, and engagement for online voter registration.

What do you think?

  • Joseph Brzezinski

    Supplementing the raw counts by showing the percentage distributions of online registrations and total registrated voters by party affiliation.

  • LutherW

    Not very useful without the context of how many paper registrations by age. Are young people using online registration more than paper registration compared to others? Also many towns do not provide links to online registration on their web sites, only paper registration. it would be interesting to see how that correlates to towns where citizens make more use of online registration vs. paper.

  • Andrew Ba Tran

    Yup, you’re all right. We wanted to focus just on online registrants because that was the newest information but we’re going to follow up eventually with totals by age.