EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – News 8 is your local election headquarters. Tuesday is the deadline to petition onto the ballot and force a primary in August.

One race we are watching is a potential Democratic primary between 26-year incumbent Congressman John Larson and newcomer Muad Hrezi. It’s about ballot access for Hrezi, 27, of East Hartford. He is trying to make history.

“I don’t think it ever happened in Connecticut in any Congressional district. And it’s by design, unfortunately,” Hrezi said.

The state legislature re-wrote ballot access laws after a 2003 landmark case ruled the process was unconstitutional. It’s meant to screen out candidates who don’t have support.

Hurdles are significant. Candidates need 2 percent of active party voters in the district to sign a petition of support. In this case, 3,833 registered democrats. Volunteers have 40 days to get signatures.

Primary petitions have to be filed with registrars in the town of circulation by 4 p.m. on deadline day.

News 8 was the only station in East Hartford where Hrezi filed the first batch of signatures. He is filing in 27 different towns that make up the district around Hartford. He is cautious in his optimism.

“I don’t want to count my eggs before they hatch,” Hrezi said.

Town elected officials verify the signatures. Documents must be notarized.

Circulators like 18-year-old Borsha Sarker who collect the signatures have to be registered in the town where petitions are signed.

“It’s been a lot of hard work from all of us, but it’s been really rewarding, especially today when we get to see everything laid out,” Sarker said.

Once verified, all paperwork is filed with the town clerk, who then files with the Secretary of the State. The secretary aggregates all the numbers. Candidates are then notified seven days later whether they made it on the ballot.

Congressman John Larson is currently in Washington D.C.

In a statement to News 8, Larson said: “I look forward to campaigning on my record. Just last year, I brought home over half a billion dollars to help put vaccines in arms, people back on the job, and kids back in their school seats. Looking ahead, I pledge to protect your Social Security benefits, fight gas company price-gouging, and tackle gun violence.” He added, “I’m proud to have won the Democratic endorsement overwhelmingly, and I ask every voter in the First District for their support.”

In a recent in-person interview on May 27, Larson acknowledged the petition process.

“It’s not that hard of a task to get the signatures. So we are assuming he is going to have those signatures. We are treating this as a primary,” Larson said.

Hrezi is ready for a fight.

“Corporate money is driving the agenda in Washington. It’s hurting us all. It hurts us when it comes to health care, when it comes to education, when it comes to just the economy in general. I think people want to see new blood in Washington,” Hrezi said.

If there is a primary, it’ll be held on Aug. 9.