Did you vote this year? Voter turnout sees new low in NJ
Tuesday's election was a good one for Democrats, who picked up a few seats and tightened their control of the New Jersey Assembly.
But it was a bad one for anyone who's ever believed every vote matters — because not all that many were cast in the first place.
Only 20.8 percent of registered voters showed up at the polls, according to a preliminary analysis by Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, reports NJ.com. Even if official state numbers bump the figure up to 22 or 23 percent, that will still be the lowest on record — even lower than the 24.5 percent whov oted when Cory Booker was elected to the U.S. Senate in a special election.
And that election wasn't even on a typical Election Day — the vote was held on a Wednesday in October.
A presidential race gets voters to the polls. So does a governor's race. A hotly contested Congressional race can do it. But last week was the first time in 16 years races for the state Assembly — the lower house of the state Legislature — topped the ticket. And it did so in a race where there was no real struggle — only a few districts were realistically in contention.
"Turnout is always highest when president is on the ticket," Murray told NJ.com. "The second highest is when the governor's office is on the ticket."