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64 percent

January 11, 2012

Officials continually bemoan the fact that few people vote in elections -- and that's true -- but the key problem may be that so few citizens have registered to vote. According to the U.S Census, only 63.9 percent of adult New Jersey citizens were registered to vote in 2010, while 41.7 percent actually went to the polls. Although the percentage of registered citizens was about the same as nationally (65.1 percent), the actual total of eligible citizens who voted was below the national average of 45.5 percent.

In general, the older you are in New Jersey and nationally, the more likely you are to be both registered and vote. For instance, citizens below the age of 25 not only don't vote but they also don't register. Only 16.7 of eligible voters from 18 to 24 went to the polls and 44 percent were registered. Those just a bit older, between the ages of 25 to 44, were much more likely to be registered (62.5 percent), although only 32.5 percent of citizens voted. The only cohort that saw a majority of its citizens actually vote were those above the age of 65. About 56 percent of those between the ages of 65 to 75 voted, while 60 percent of citizens older than 75 went to the polls. That leave the middle aged, which was the largest cohort of voters in New Jersey. Although only 48.5 percent actually voted, they cast the largest number of votes (more than 1 million.)

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