GOP primary is next Tuesday

Registered Republicans will be going to the polls next Tuesday, April 24, to vote in the Republican presidential preference primary. Polls are open at the Weston Middle School from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, is expected to have enough delegate votes to win the nomination at the Republican National Convention. The only other candidates on the primary ballot still running for the nomination are U.S. Congressman Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich, former House speaker. Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator, has suspended his campaign, but he remains on the ballot in Connecticut.

The order on the ballot, determined by lottery, will be Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, followed by a ballot line for “uncommitted.”

Eligible Connecticut voters have until Monday, April 23, at noon to register as Republicans if they wish to cast a ballot in the primary. Only registered Republicans are permitted to vote in the contest. Unaffiliated voters also face that same deadline to affiliate with the Republican Party if they wish to cast a ballot for one of four presidential candidates on April 24.

Absentee ballots for the Republican presidential preference primary are available in Town Clerk Donna Anastasia’s office at town hall.

Voters who cannot appear to vote in person for one or more of the reasons set forth in Connecticut General Statutes may cast their votes by absentee ballot. Anyone who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot may apply in person or by mail to Town Clerk Donna Anastasia.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said 17-year-olds may cast ballots in this presidential preference primary in Connecticut — provided they will be 18 on or before the general election Nov. 6.

There will be no Democratic primary on April 24 since the only Democratic candidate who has qualified for the presidential preference primary ballot is President Barack Obama. Connecticut state law specifies that at least two candidates are needed in order to hold a primary.

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