NJ Senate Primary Turnout Wasn't the Lowest. But Almost.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Thanks to the celebrity of Democratic front-runner Cory Booker, the race to fill the seat of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg  has garnered national media attention. But national headlines did little to motivate voter turnout. See live results here.

 When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called for a special election  just a few weeks before the general election, critics said the move would depress voting. 
Now some poll workers say they’re seeing historically low turnout.  

When Governor Chris Christie called for a special election  just a few weeks before the general election, critics said the move would depress voting. 

With almost all of the precincts reporting late Tuesday, about 9% of the state's registered voters had cast a ballot. As New Jersey's US Senate primaries go, only the 2006 race had lower turnout, with 8%.

Ho-Ho-Kus resident Joseph Guarino has been working the polls on Election Day for two decades and said this election was one of the slowest he's seen.

"One, is no interest," Guarino said. "Two, it's a foregone conclusion that Booker will win."

At his Bergen County polling place, Guarino said only 50-plus voters had shown. He said there were usually 600 to 700 people who had voted at that point on a typical election day. 

In precincts throughout Newark, Jersey City and Hoboken, poll workers echoed the same sentiment, saying that by midday they had seen no more than 20 voters show up at their respective polling stations.

The special election for the Senate seat will be held October 16th. 


Nancy Solomon


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Comments [3]

Bonnie from New Jersey

9% of registered voters, but what percent of registered democrats and republicans? Many voters are undeclared or independent, and therefore wouldn't have been able to participate.

Aug. 14 2013 01:08 PM

It is unfortunate that more young people did not make it out to vote. As a 20-year old, the workers at the polling location I voted at looked surprised when I walked in the door, and a friend said the same of his precinct. Hopefully more will turn out for the actual special election in october

Aug. 14 2013 12:40 PM
Anni from Bergen County

Christie and his money-wasting electoral shenanigans.

Aug. 13 2013 09:02 PM

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