FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Presidential elections always bring out more voters than others, and Fairfield’s registrars of voters are dealing with an influx of voter registrations similar to what they saw in 2008.
“I think it’s roughly the same volume as in 2008,” said Democratic Registrar of Voters Matthew Waggner, who handles all applications with his Republican counterpart Roger Autuori. “About 100 a day seems to be the number of new voters.”
In 2008, Fairfield’s registrars took in 2,496 voter registrations in the two months leading up to the election deadline. Of those, most were unaffiliated, with party-free voters making up 54.2 percent of the new registrations. More Democrats registered in the final weeks than Republicans by a 735-409 margin, but the Republican Party went into Election Day with more registered members.
So far this year 1,427 Fairfielders have registered to vote since Sept. 10, according to the Registrars’ records. With two weeks left before the election deadline, Fairfield is set to match its pace from the 2008 election cycle.
“You thought you got everybody four years ago,” Autuori said. “You figure you just need to do changes. But we still get people who say ‘I haven’t voted in 10 years.’”
A total of 36,581 people are registered to vote in Fairfield currently. Unaffiliated voters make up the largest group, with 15,220 Fairfielders (41.6 percent) not belonging to any party. Republicans are the second-largest set with 10,807 registered members, or 29.5 percent. The Democratic Party has 10,303 registered members in Fairfield, or 28.1 percent of the total, but are registering at a faster rate than Republicans.
Since Sept. 10 360 Democrats have signed up to vote, compared to 295 Republicans. Voters from other parties make up less than 1 percent of the total.
“In ’08 the [the rush] sort of started with the Democratic primary,” Autuori said. “It was a big rush earlier.”
Voter registration applications must be mailed by Oct. 23 to qualify for the 2012 general election. Voters can register in person at Old Town Hall (611 Old Post Road) as late as Oct. 30.
The registrars will hold a special voter registration session this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their office. The registrars will also be open late on the deadline day to accept last-minute applications. For more information or to download a registration form, visit their website.