About-Town-Margaret-WirtenbergTuesday, Aug. 12, is the Republican primary! From 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., the polls will be open at Weston Middle School for GOP voting for governor, lieutenant governor, and comptroller candidates.

I have always admired our outgoing state Senator John McKinney. Sen. McKinney is in an uphill battle for the gubernatorial nomination of his party. I hope he wins. Why?

Mainly because I expect that his candidacy would make for the most meaningful dialogue during the subsequent campaign regarding how Connecticut can best move forward from where it is today.

Much has been done in the past four years, although not all of it has necessarily been for the better. What changes have been made and what’s next for Connecticut?

Nov. 4 ballot

If Sen. McKinney does not win we are in for a “rematch” election.

The first gubernatorial contest between Tom Foley and Dan Malloy was close four years ago. Would those candidates rely on a tweak here, an extra repeat of old complaints there, and hope that the results will be in their favor? Or would they perform from a new script?

Come Election Day, Nov. 4, we may find as many as six lines on the ballot. There will be the Republican and Democratic party lines for sure, as well as one for the Working Families Party. There may also be an Independent Party line, if its members can agree on an endorsement.

Two other candidates, one from the “Education and Democracy Party,” and the second, a gun-rights candidate, are petitioning to get on the ballot. Their petitions must have the requisite number of precisely correct signatures. Will they qualify? Stay tuned!

If they do, and if the Independent Party gets its act together, that would make six, count them, six lines on the ballot.

Deadlines will be upcoming during the weeks following the Aug. 12 primary for steps by the town clerk toward preparation of the Election Day ballot, and submission to the secretary of the state’s office for approval of the format and details.

Also on the Nov. 4 ballot will be a constitutional question related to how Connecticut goes about absentee voting in the future. Vote “yes” if you are open to having the legislature revise these procedures.

My understanding is that if the question were to pass, the Connecticut General Assembly would, during its next session, discuss exactly what form the change is to take.

Perhaps Connecticut voters would be allowed to vote absentee for any reason. Or might more radical change be forthcoming if you vote “yes”?

You can, of course, vote “no” if you like the present situation. The “Land of Steady Habits” has maintained a rather strict standard so far when it comes to absentee voting. The rule is that you can do it only if one of a half-dozen precisely specified reasons applies, such as absence from town during all of the voting hours.

Another date of note, leading up to Election Day, is Sept. 4. Quoting from the secretary of the state’s 2014 State Election Calendar: That is the “last day for municipality to approve question to appear on ballot at state election, unless otherwise specifically provided by the general statutes. (§ 9-370).”

The Board of Selectmen has approved a question to appear on the ballot regarding proposed charter revision. Has it been sent to the town clerk yet?

NOTE: “About Town” is also a television program. It appears on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30 to 6 p.m. on Cablevision Channel 88 (Public Access). Or see it at aboutweston.com. This week’s program is part two of a two-part interview with state Rep. Gail Lavielle.

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