Low Voter Turnout for Local Primary Polls

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ  - Traditionally, Primary Election Tuesday is a busy one. However, fewer than 10 percent of registered voters turned out in Scotch Plains and Fanwood to vote

The main reasons seems to be that both Scotch Plains and Fanwood had council members running uncontested in both the Republican and Democratic parties, making voters feel it was not necessary for them to show up.

“I don’t think its really a case of our residents being apathetic,” said Kevin Glover, mayor of Scotch Plains.  “Just look at the numbers last November. Obviously, they come out when they feel it’s important.”

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However, at other levels of government there were contested primaries that were affected by this low turnout.  Positions such as County Freeholder were being contested, as was the position of Governor.

“We are really happy with the results, and we had great margins but a higher voter turnout would have been better,” said Assemblywoman Linda Stender, who is also the Chair of the Democratic Committee in Scotch Plains.  “Democracy depends on participation; it’s not a spectator sport.”

Although both major candidates for Governor were being challenged, the low voter turnout meant that secondary candidates had very little leverage. The final count in the race for Governor: Chris Christie 5,712 vs. Seth Grossman 528 for the Republican nomination and Barbara Buono 4,976 vs. Troy Webster 617 for the Democratic nomination.

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