Low Turnout for NJ Primary - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Low Turnout for NJ Primary

Fair election safeguards in place across the state



    Low Turnout for NJ Primary
    Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis, unopposed NJ Senate candidate, prepares to vote in Medford, NJ.

    Observers expect a very low voter turnout, likely less than 10 percent, for today's primary election.

    There aren't many competitive races on the ballot. Voters will decide contested races for 10 state Senate seats and in 16 of 40 Assembly districts.

    “In many cases potential challenges to incumbents were settled well before the primary petitions were filed,” said Monmouth University political scientist Patrick Murray. “People who might
    have wanted to run for office realized they were not going to be able to without the party endorsement.”

    Voter turnout tends to be low in primaries where legislative races are the top of the ticket. In 2007, 8 percent voted; in 2003, it was 9 percent; and in 1999, 6 percent.

    Attorney General Paula T. Dow announced on Monday that approximately 100 Deputy Attorneys General would be deployed throughout the state on Primary Election Day to ensure a fair election.

    “Deputy Attorneys General will be stationed in each of the 21 counties on Primary Election Day,” said Dow. “They will be there throughout the day to help county election officials resolve any polling place or voting-related legal issues that might arise. We are committed to ensuring that the rights of every eligible voter are protected.”

    Dow said anyone who believes his or her voting rights have been interfered with, whether voting in a polling place or by mail-in ballot, should immediately contact the state hotline at 1-877-NJVOTER or (609) 599-6877.

    Members of the public can also address election-related queries to their County Superintendent of Election and county Board of Election.

    This is the first election in newly reconfigured legislative districts, which were redrawn to better represent population shifts found in the most recent census. Most of the districts are reliably
    Democratic or Republican, with the intraparty line-ups predetermined by county political bosses.

    Two of the most prominent political newcomers in this year's primaries are unopposed.

    Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis, who lives in Medford, is trying to become a Democratic senator in the Republican-dominated 8th District in New Jersey's Philadelphia
    suburbs. With Republicans challenging his candidacy on grounds that he has not lived in the state for the required four years, he could be removed from the general election ballot.

    Richard Kanka, the Hamilton father of Megan Kanka, the girl whose murder led to creation of Megan's Law all over the nation, is running for the 14th District Senate seat as a Republican.

    NJ Primary Election Results