The ongoing presidential primaries come to Connecticut on April 24. The Republican candidates will be vying for 28 delegates, with 1,144 needed to outright win the party's presidential nomination. Although the voting is open to Republicans only, there's still time for some people to join the party and vote in the primary.
NEW, UNAFFILIATED VOTERS
The deadline for voters currently in another party (particularly Democrats) to switch was Jan. 24. However, unaffiliated voters and new voters are eligible to join the Republicans by April 19. New voters include those that never registered to vote before and people who previously registered but moved to a new municipality and have not registered there already.
According to the Office of the Secretary of State, "For new voters, mail-in applications must be postmarked, or received by the Registrar of Voters or voter registration agency, by this [April 19]. For unaffiliated voters, the mail-in application must be received (not merely postmarked) by the Registrar of Voters by this deadline."
HOW TO REGISTER
Before you vote (unless you're already a Republican) you'll have to register with the Stratford Registrar of Voters. Photo ID with proof of address is required -- such as a driver's license -- and there's a short form to fill out. You must be at least 18 years old.
The shape of the race is evolving with every primary or caucus, but as of now five Republicans in the race are Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. Also running is the oft-ignored Buddy Roemer, who has not been included in the presidential debates due to low polling numbers.
In 2008, John McCain, who went on to win the nomination, dominated with 52 percent of the 151,604 votes cast. Mitt Romney finished second with 33 percent. Mike Huckabee had 7 percent and Ron Paul attracted 4 percent of voters.
Back then Connecticut was a "winner take all state," with McCain nabbing every delegate. In an attempt to encourage the candidates to campaign in the Nutmeg State, the Connecticut Republicans recently changed the rules to award proportional delegates for the runner-up candidates.
On April 24, Rhode Island (19 delegates), New York (95 delegates), Pennsylvania and Delaware (17 delegates) will also be having its primaries.