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Connecticut Primary Voters Make Their Voices Heard

Laura Bittner

Republican and Democratic voters are casting their vote in the presidential primary elections  in Connecticut, which is unaccustomed to having its primary carry much weight. State election officials hope voter turnout will be high, given a surge in voter registration.

Voters trickled in to the main branch of Hamden’s public library Tuesday morning. Hamden resident Alex Pierpaoli said it just feels good to vote.

“You know, maybe it is just being naive, but I always remember that Bob Schieffer, his mother used to tell him, ‘Go out and vote, it’ll make you feel big and strong,'" he said. "I like that."

Pierpaoli said he does feel good when he exercises his right to vote, but it doesn’t always feel like there are enough candidates to choose from.

“I don’t know, it’s sad. Our whole system is not really an election," he said. "It’s more like this really slow product rollout, and here are your two different products. You know, there’s a Republican one and a Democratic one and that’s the choice you have. But it’s really an illusion of choice.”

Hamden resident Kathleen Szymanski said she came to cast a vote for Donald Trump. She said she worries the Republican primary system isn’t working in Trump’s favor.

“I have a feeling maybe Mr. Trump is being ripped off. That’s what I think, but he’s going to beat them to it, believe me. And I know he’s going to do great today!” she said. 

Szymanski said the voters’ voice should matter more than the party delegates’. She says she’ll still vote for any Republican party nominee in November.

For the Democratic candidates, 55 of the state's 71 delegates will be up for grabs. They'll be distributed mostly on a proportional basis. Meanwhile, the Republicans are vying for 25 of the state's 28 delegates, which will be distributed proportionally as well.

Mary Cordack, also of Hamden, said she doesn’t like the primary system.  But Cordack said she hopes her vote will send a message.

“My faith in the whole system is shaken. It’s corrupt and I think we pretty much know that now, but we do need change, and that’s why I’m voting for Sanders.” she said. 

Cordack said it’s important to exercise the right to vote. She said she hopes that can lead to a more Democratic primary process.

Voters have until 8 pm to make their choice at the polls. Visit SOTS.CT.GOV for more information on polling places.

This story contains information from the Associated Press

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