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Voter Interest Sagging

Ilya Hemlin

With elections only a scant three weeks away on November 8th, experts are predicting a very lackluster turnout.

Historically, elections where there are no gubernatorial or presidential candidates see a smaller response from the public.

What makes the 2011 election noteworthy for voter however is that all of the states 120 legislative seats will be up for vote. Though that has important ramifications for New Jersey, a Monmouth University/NJ Media Poll reports that only half of the voters are aware of statewide legislative races.

One of the factors for the apathy from voters is that the slew of local races, candidate, and issues can be difficult to follow for people already needing more hours in the day. Speaking to a man in Toms River, which has mayoral, council, and freeholder races, he says that he just can’t keep up.

“Between work and having twins at home following everything is kinda tough.”

One woman said she only pays attention when it’s a governor or president running. She admits that it’s not great, but claims to just not be interested in local politics.

With dozens of candidates easily making it onto the ballots in many towns, often residents can’t devote the time and energy learning about each of their individual platforms and instead vote a party line.

An Eagleton Institute Poll states that more than half of voters turning out for the midterm elections will cast their vote with regards to how they feel about Chris Christie.

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