Last week, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz urged unaffiliated voters across the state to enroll with the Democrat or Republican Party by Aug. 9 at noon so they can vote in the statewide primaries Tuesday, Aug. 10. Connecticut's closed-party system does not allow unaffiliated voters to cast ballots in the primaries, therefore unaffiliated voters must enroll as either Democrats or Republicans to cast a ballot in the primaries.

"I urge Connecticut's 840,000 unaffiliated voters -- the largest group of our state's nearly 2 million active registered voters -- to enroll with the Democratic or Republican parties so they can cast ballots and make sure their voices are heard in the primaries," Bysiewicz said in a statement.

"The 2010 election cycle is one of the most exciting we have seen in a long time in Connecticut, with many open seats and closely contested primaries on the Democratic and Republican side for governor, U.S. Senator and many other important offices. Don't let this chance to help choose leaders of our state and country pass you by."

We second that notion, especially because the primaries include a Republican primary right here in the 4th Congressional district.

There are people who complain about the selection of candidates come election time in November, but it's no one's fault but their own if they don't bother to vote in the primary elections in which those candidates are chosen.

To be eligible to cast a ballot in the Aug. 10 Connecticut Primary Elections, an unaffiliated voter must enroll as a Democrat or Republican in person at his or her local Registrar of Voters office by Monday, Aug. 9, at noon. Mail-in registration forms must be postmarked no later than Aug. 5. New voters face those same deadlines if they wish to register with a party and vote in the primaries.

Since June 1, more than 1,000 unaffiliated Connecticut voters have switched to the Republican or Democratic parties, making themselves eligible to vote in the upcoming primary. On Primary Day, the polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Secretary of the State's office is making it easier to "affiliate and participate" with the "Vote-EZ-CT" link on its website at www.sots.ct.gov.

It provides important information about the 2010 primary and general elections.

It even shows voters how to use Connecticut's optical scan or vote-by-phone technology at the polls. Voter registration cards and key information about upcoming registration deadlines are also on the site. Site visitors can also reference the "More Information" if they have questions about absentee ballots, military/overseas voting, ID requirements at the polls, rights as a voter, or if you need to contact the Secretary of State's office with any questions about voting and elections.

So what are you waiting for?

Get out there and affiliate in order to participate.