Survey Questions and Candidate Responses

What is your position on whether Connecticut should open its election primaries to unaffiliated voters?

Cynthia Mangini | Participating Election
All registered voters should be allowed the opportunity to vote
Kara Rochelle | Participating Election
I support open primaries.
Nick Gauthier | Participating Election
Yes, Connecticut primaries should be open to all voters. Further reforms must also be made. —Implement a system of automatic voter registration, similar to Oregon’s opt-out voter registration system (as opposed to opt-in). —Implement a system of statewide ranked-choice/instant-runoff voting, similar to Maine’s ranked-choice voting, so that voters are free to vote for the candidates and policies they want rather than against what they do not want. — Make Election Day a state holiday so all can participate fully and fairly in our democracy. — Increase democratic engagement by lowering the voting age to 16 years. —Support no-excuse absentee voting to give Connecticut voters the guaranteed option to vote by mail or secure ballot drop box.
Tammy Nuccio | Participating Election
I am not sure how something like this would work. The idea of a primary is that the members of a party select who they want to be on the ballot to represent them, if a vote is unaffiliated and has not selected a party I'm not sure they should be picking the person who leads a party they are not part of. I would need more information on what is proposed and how it would work before rendering an opinion on this.
Jonathan Steinberg | Participating Election
I'm curious about both party-free primaries and ranked-choice voting. Holding primaries in August when no one's around or focused on the election assures that the more extreme candidates from both parties have an advantage. Representative government depends on voter participation and I'm a big supporter of our efforts to update our constitution to facilitate voter access. As a Moderate, I'm eager to explore means to elect consensus candidates not beholden to partisan extremes.
Laura A. Fucci | Participating Election
Unaffiliated voters have many opportunities to enroll in the party of their choosing to vote in a primary. They can change their party affiliation online using the Secretary of the State's website, by mail, at the DMV, or in person at the Registrars of Voters office. They may even change their affiliation in person until noon the day before a primary. After the primary, they can change their affiliation back to unaffiliated. Those unaffiliated voters who wish to participate have the opportunity to do so.
John Carlson | Participating Election
No. If someone feels strong enough on whether a candidate should win a party's primary then they should join that party and vote. Open primaries in areas where one party dominates registration would allow partisan voters to influence another party's choice and select who they think is the weaker candidate for the general election.
John Rasimas | Participating Election
I am supportive of allowing unaffiliated voters to vote in the primary of their choice.
Edwin Vargas | Participating Election
I would support such a change.
David Michel | Participating Election
Opened primaries are democratic. They are conducted in other places and countries. Currently in a gerrymandered district with assured victory in general election for Party A, and say you are Party B, it would make sense if you want to have a say that you should vote in the primary which will decide who will win in the general election. It's sad to be even typing this. So many people change parties just to be able to vote in a primary. Let the people vote without having to select a party just to get involved in the democratic process.
Don Mastronardi | Participating Election
I am an advocate of having additional parties in our politics. The 2 party system hasn't served our citizens well and too often the extremes in both parties win out at the detriment of our citizens. I wouldn't have an issue with unaffiliated voters being able to vote in primaries, because at the end of the day, we want our citizens engaged in the political process.
Lucy Dathan | Participating Election
I would support open primaries to unaffiliated voters, who could chose which party's primary to participate in each cycle. Even more important, we need to address the lack of opportunity to participate in the voting process, as a whole. Currently, Connecticut is one of only four states (with Alabama, Mississippi, and New Hampshire) that do not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting options for all voters. As a member of the General Assembly in 2019 and in 2021, I voted in favor both times to allow for early voting. I believe we need to ensure that Connecticut’s citizens have more than one day between 6AM - 8PM to cast their ballot. Not only will this measure make voting more accessible to every eligible voter, it will also decrease election day lines, ensure accuracy, and increase security for prompt election day results. I was disheartened to see that some Republican members of the General Assembly did not vote in favor of this initiative, in effect suppressing many voices who do not have flexibility with their daily schedule. We have an opportunity in November to approve the referendum question to allow early voting based on the support of the passed legislation in the General Assembly in 2019 and 2021.
Christine Palm | Participating Election
I would love to see us break the logjam of the two-party system. Unaffiliated voters have no skin in the game unless they find a way to form a new party and run a candidate. Ranked Choice voting would probably help solve this "winner-take-all" system and the U's might get behind that.
MD Masudur Rahman | Participating Election
I support keeping the election primaries closed to unaffiliated voters. Members of the parties should be the only ones voting for and nominating their respective candidates, and unaffiliated voters will have the opportunity to support the candidate of their choosing in general elections.
Julie Kushner | Participating Election
I support opening primaries in Connecticut to unaffiliated voters. Primaries are a significant part of our electoral system and allowing more residents to have a say in shaping who the candidates in our elections are will strengthen democracy in our state. We should look to other states in the Northeast that have done this effectively to guide us in making this change.
Robert Hotaling | Participating Election
More choice is better for the electorate, just as more choice is better for every other industry or service, making competition an incentive to get politicians to do a better job. Unaffiliated voters, which are the largest voting block in the state, should have the right to vote in open primaries. All taxpayers pay for primaries which are currently closed to non-party members when every paying voter should have the right to select who their choices will be in the general election.
Christopher Green | Participating Election
There are about 1 million unaffiliated voters in Connecticut who currently have no say until the general election. They too should have a voice in our primaries. Our elections in Connecticut should be secure and accessible in general. I am also in support of the referendum on this year’s ballot to allow the legislature to enact early voting. Connecticut is one of only a few states without early in person voting. It’s time we caught up with the rest of the country.
Jillian Gilchrest | Participating Election
The majority of voters in Connecticut are unaffiliated. I think Connecticut should open its election primaries to unaffiliated voters to increase voter participation.
Frank Smith | Participating Election
I do not believe that primaries should be open to unaffiliated voters.
Bob Godfrey | Participating Election
The primary system is broken, taken over by extremists in the two major parties. I'd like to enact ranked choice voting in which all viable candidates are listed, and all voters participate.