Independent Connecticut (Update)

Last week in 'Independent Connecticut,' I noted that the majority of voters in the state are registered as independents, and drew attention to the high number of local, independent third parties being formed to challenge the hegemony of the Republican-Democratic duopoly. In the comments, Sam Wilson wondered "whether there are particular election laws that encourage independent campaigns and voting, or whether some mix of voter sophistication and personality politics accounts for it." Uncertain where to look to find an answer to the question, I contacted Richard Winger of Ballot Access News. Mr. Winger provided two reasons in explanation of the phenomenon: 1) virtually every election in Connecticut is a partisan election, while in much of the country the majority of cities and towns use non-partisan elections; and 2) unlike most other states, in Connecticut a party can be ballot-qualified in just part of the state. Thanks to Sam for the question and Richard Winger for his speedy response.

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