CT voter participation rates increased in 2016 compared to 2012

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Voter turnout this year fell across the country for this past election but not in Connecticut.

Trend CT estimates that about 76 percent of active voters participated in this year’s elections. That doesn’t exceed 2008’s record of 78.1 percent when President Barack Obama faced off against John McCain, but it does pass the 2012 mark of 73.8 percent.

The estimate is based on unofficial results from the Office of the Secretary of the State, which has reported results from 97 percent of precincts. Results from towns such as Danbury and Ellington still have not been posted by the state, but we will update this story when they are.

Connecticut’s performance was helped by election day registration, the first time it was implemented in a presidential year. Officials reported that about 30,000 voters registered on Election Day, many more than the nearly 14,000 registered two years ago during the gubernatorial contest.

Average increased turnout by towns candidate won
By percent points between the 2012 and 2016 elections
Candidate Mixed Rural Urban
Clinton 3.82 4.24 2.17
Trump 5.67 2.98 9.14
Office of the Secretary of the State

Turnout for Hillary Clinton averaged about 3.7 percentage points higher than turnout in the same towns in 2012. Windham, Groton and Hamden, in particular, saw a marked increase in participation of 27, 19, and 15 points respectively. Windham is notable because a third of its population is Hispanic — the fifth largest proportion in the state.

Donald Trump’s supporters came out at a rate 5.4 percentage points higher rate than Mitt Romney in 2012 on average. Voters in towns such as Somers, Winchester and Ansonia increased their turnout by 20 percentage points.

Though rural voters in Connecticut were more likely to vote for Trump, the rural areas that Clinton won saw a higher voter participation rate than those Trump won.

In contrast, voters in most urban cities favored Clinton, but in those few urban areas that chose Trump, there was a higher turnout rate than in those that went for Clinton. Urban towns with declining industries – such as Ansonia and Derby, which saw increases in turnout of about 19 and 14 percent respectively – drove up the average.

Among the towns that Trump won, only one saw a decrease in participation from 2012 to 2016: Bridgewater.

However, turnout declined in about 20 towns that Clinton won, the biggest of which were New Haven, Ridgefield and Woodbridge. Voter turnout for those three towns was 9 percentage points lower this year than in 2012.

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