|Elections in Connecticut|
Some type of election in Connecticut occurs annually in each of the state's cities and towns, the exact type of which is dependent on the year. Elections for federal and statewide offices occur in even-numbered years, while municipal elections occur in odd-numbered ones. The office of the Connecticut Secretary of State oversees the election process, including voting and vote counting.
Elections for local government include elections for municipal leadership positions (such as mayor or first selectman), legislative bodies (such as a city council or a board of aldermen), and other elections for various municipal positions and boards and commissions, as governed by each municipality's respective charter and/or ordinances. Of the 169 towns and cities in the state, all hold municipal elections in odd-numbered years, and most hold them on the traditional Election Day in November. Fifteen communities in the state, however, hold their municipal elections in May.
Unlike in most U.S. states, there is no form of county government in Connecticut. The eight counties in the state now exist solely for geographical purposes. Governing at the county level was abolished in the state in 1960, and its last holdover, county sheriffs, were eliminated by an amendment to the state constitution in 2000.
The state of Connecticut has a closed primary system, whereby only electors enrolled in a political party can vote in their party's primary election. A registered Republican, for example, is only allowed to participate in Republican primaries, while a voter not affiliated with any political party (called an “unaffiliated” voter in the state) is not allowed to vote in any party primary.
The majority of Connecticut voters are affiliated with either of the two major political parties, but the plurality of voters have no party affiliation.
|Connecticut voter registration and party enrollment as of November 5, 2018|
|24 other minor parties without
statewide enrollment privileges
Connecticut has no system of initiative or referenda at the statewide level, but any proposed amendment to the state constitution, after having first been passed by both houses of the state legislature in accordance with Article XII of the Connecticut Constitution, must be ratified by the people of the state via a ballot question. Additionally, in accordance with Article XIII, every 20 years (or 20 years after a constitutional convention was last called for) citizens of the state shall be allowed to vote on whether a constitutional convention to amend or revise the state constitution should be called.
The most recent constitutional amendment proposition, concerning if 17-year-old pre-registered electors should be allowed to vote in party primaries if they would be turning 18 on or before the date of the general election, was submitted to voters on November 4, 2008. Voters passed the amendment 900,491 to 508,396, and it became effective as Amendment XXXI on November 26, 2008. The most recent constitutional convention question also appeared on the ballot on November 4, 2008, and the call for a convention was rejected 847,518 to 579,904.
While there is no statewide initiative or referenda, many municipalities have some form of it for issues of local concern. Additionally, five municipalities afford voters the right to recall local elected public officials, a practice that does not extend to state offices.
On June 26, 2009, Connecticut governor M. Jodi Rell signed into law a bill which requires that a special election be called under most circumstances should a vacancy occur in either of Connecticut's two U.S. Senate seats. Prior to this law, the governor of the state had the right to appoint a replacement to fill such vacancies.
Since passed, this law has not yet been used.