This is the year that 17-year-olds get to vote — in primaries. If they are turning 18 on or before Election Day on Nov. 6, young voters can participate for the first time in primaries, starting April 24 with the GOP presidential primary.

This month’s Republican presidential primary has lost its competitive luster, but there are likely to be Democratic and GOP primaries for U.S. Senate and at least one congressional district in August.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said today that more than 2,200 17-year-olds have registered since the start of the year, though more than half declared themselves as unaffiliated.

Republicans enrolled 543; Democrats signed up 465.

Unaffiliated or new voters have until noon on April 23 to register as Republicans if they wish to vote in the presidential primary.

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Mark PazniokasCapitol Bureau Chief

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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