Aug. 12 is Primary Election Day in Connecticut -- a critical time for both Republicans and Democrats. And even, potentially, for unaffiliated voters.

Primaries are an important part of our democratic process. It's when we, the people -- or, rather, the people registered with the major parties -- choose among multiple candidates for a particular office. The people choose, not the power brokers or the party elites. It is direct nomination.

This year, both Republicans and Democrats in Fairfield have choices to make. For Republicans, it will be their candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Comptroller. For Democrats, their candidate for Fairfield's 133rd Assembly District.

Connecticut requires voters to register with a party to vote in its primary. Unaffiliated voters who feel strongly for one primary candidate over another have the right to affiliate with that party to vote in the primary.

How do you affiliate if unaffiliated? Simple. Pick up a form at a Registrars of Voters office in town hall or at the Library, or print one off the town website ( It must be delivered in person to the registrar's office no later than noon on Monday, Aug. 11. That's a hard-and-fast deadline. Arrive at 12:01 p.m., and you are out of luck.

For those who have moved since the last election and have not changed your voter-registration address, you need to do so. For Democrats to vote in this primary, they must live in the 133rd Assembly District. If you have questions about the district you reside in, call the registrar's office at 203-356-3115.

And don't forget the absentee ballot. You can vote by absentee ballot if you'll be out of town on Primary Election Day, an illness or disability will prevent you from voting, you're an active member of the armed forces, religious beliefs prevent you from voting on Election Day, or if you'll be working as an election official at a polling place other than your own all hours of Primary Day.

Absentee ballots are available in person at the town clerk's office but must be returned by the close of business on Monday, Aug. 11.

Polling places are the same as for November elections, with one important exception. District 4 voters -- Republicans and Democrats -- will vote at Fairfield Woods Middle School in this year's primary. If you have any questions about where to vote, call the registrar's office at 203-256-3115 or drop in. It's a friendly place.

Remember: Tuesday, Aug. 12 is the date. Polls are open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Primaries play an important role in our state elections, and your vote has a significant impact. Voting is a key opportunity to take control and make a difference on the issues that affect you, your family, your town, and your future.

Bryce Perry, Peter Sibley


League of Women Voters of Fairfield