Low voter turnout predicted for Tuesday’s election
Are you excited about tomorrow's general election? Are you even aware that there is an election tomorrow? For many New Jerseyans, the answer to both questions is no.
Montclair State University political science professor Dr. Brigid Harrison believes we're seeing the impact of partisan gerrymandering in the Garden State, when political parties set district boundaries in ways that will give them an electoral advantage.
"The reality is so many New Jerseyans won't turn out to vote because, in effect, their Congressional delegation has already been decided," Harrison said. "In most districts in the state the incumbent party will wind up winning election, and it's very, very few districts in which you actually see very heated battles."
She said typically, the highest voter turnout is seen in presidential elections.
"When you have hotly contested races at the top of the ballot, that drives participation upward, but mostly throughout the state it's really a big yawn," she said. "As for voter turnout, I think throughout the state it's going to be rather abysmal."
Harrison said there's another factor at play here as well.
"In addition to having no competitive races at the top of the ballot, or very few competitive races, there is widespread dissatisfaction with government, and that sentiment is going to keep people away from the polls. They're not excited, they're not optimistic, they're not charged up about this election, and so therefore see little benefit to showing up," Harrison said.
Last year's election, which saw Chris Christie re-elected as New Jersey's governor by a wide margin, saw one of the lowest voter turnouts in years, with just under 40 percent of the state's registered voters going to the polls, according to an article on NJ.com.
The polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday, and will stay open till 8 p.m.