Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Voters in Jefferson are lower than ever

By: Rich Knight—Correspondent

Now here’s a story with a headline that practically writes itself. The votes for June 5th’s elections are in, and boy, are they low. With 12,003 registered voters in Jefferson alone, an astonishingly small percentage actually went out to vote—4.29% to be exact. That’s only 515 people.

Coming out the victor in the Freeholder position was Jim Murray, who defeated John Inglesino in the Republican ballot. Murray will be joining incumbents Douglas Cabana and Jack Schrier for a three year term.

But if you think this low turn out at the ballot is something new for Jefferson, think again, as 2003’s election posted similar results—a pathetic 6.28%.

But Municipal Clerk, Lydia Magnotti, thinks she may have the answer as to why the numbers keep getting lower and lower: “Without researching, [I’d have to say] it could be low because there’s no local election, no council or mayor running, that makes it low.”

Checking out 2005’s stats, her story seems to hold weight. In the 2005 primaries, there were 12,142 registered voters, and 1,292 people voted, which is “much better,” says Magnotti, but still leaves room for improvement.

“And it’s a primary,” Magnotti adds of this year’s low turnout Democrats or Republicans [could vote]. The only people affected were the freeholders.”

And that’s just one of the reasons why voters didn’t turn out. Here are two more.

One: the ballots were pretty much uncontested, meaning, all of the candidates were pretty much running against themselves (Turns out voters aren’t going to leave their houses when they could just as easily sit at home and watch Pro Wresling on television and get the same results).

And two: People just don’t vote anymore. At least not until the National 2008 elections roll around. Now THAT’S a different story.

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