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Early voting turnout around 1% in CT and NY

A voting site in Broome County
Vaughn Golden
A voting site in Broome County

More than 18,000 Connecticut residents and 100,000 New York residents voted early ahead of Tuesday’s presidential preference primary, according to unofficial vote totals from election officials.

This was the first time Connecticut allowed early voting for the presidential primary. New York began offering it in 2020.

Jess Zaccagnino, with the ACLU of Connecticut’s Policy Council, said states that offer early voting often see a higher turnout.

“In particular, it helps working families, especially people that are lower income. Historically, it benefits people of color a lot, folks who are disabled, really tons of groups of people,” Zaccagnino said. “But one common thing that encompasses everyone that I just named is oftentimes these are folks that are historically marginalized and have had less access to voting in general.”

To participate in Tuesday’s election, voters had to be registered to the Democratic or Republican party.

According to Connecticut Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas, as of October 2023, there were around 460,000 active Republicans and 800,000 active Democrats.

That means around 1.4% of eligible voters voted early in Connecticut.

“Pretty low turnout in general, but I thought it was a resounding success,” Thomas said.

“People have been voting for different reasons. Some people believe it's important to vote in every election, as I do. Some wanted to be a part of history. Some towns reported having a line at 10 a.m. on the first day of early voting, just people who wanted to be first to cast a ballot. Some answered the call to help their town test the system,” she added.

In New York, as of February 2024, there were around 2,695,000 active Republicans and 5,778,000 active Democrats, according to the Board of Elections. Around 1.1% of the state's eligible voters voted early.

Republicans have raised concerns about fraud in early voting, but Zaccagnino said it’s extremely rare.

“If you look at early voting throughout the country, it's been safe and secure, and there aren't widespread issues in terms of election fraud,” Zaccagnino said.


Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.