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Poll: Tuesday’s Voter Turnout -- Just How Low Can It Possibly Go?

Some folks don’t know that Tuesday is Election Day. Others don’t care. What about you?

The turnout for next Tuesday's general election could set a new record low. According to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, released on Tuesday, three-quarters of New Jerseyans did not even know there is an election in the offing.

Not quite 1 in 10 knew that either the Assembly or the Legislature was on the ballot, and only 6 percent were aware that it’s the lower house that’s in play.

To be fair, the poll was conducted before the sample ballots were mailed to registered voters. Getting a ballot in the mail could jog their memories. But will it make them cast ballots?

The lowest turnout on record was 27 percent in 2011, when the state Senate topped the ballot. The last time the Assembly was the highest office was in 1999, when turnout was 31 percent, but it has been stable or declining, depending on the year and the most powerful office on the ballot ever since.

With the Assembly topping the ticket and all but a handful of districts competitive, it will have to be local races that entice voters to go to the polls in most parts of the state.

Did you know there is an election next Tuesday and do you plan to vote?

  • Yes, I knew and I will vote. I vote in every election regardless of who is on the ballot because the ability to vote is one of the freedoms we enjoy in this country.

  • Yes, I will vote, but I'm more concerned about a county, municipal, or school-board race, or a ballot question. I may not even bother clicking a lever for the Assembly.

  • Of course I knew. I am in a district where there is a fierce battle for Assembly seats. I have been bombarded with campaign mailers, and I can't wait until they stop running those commercials on my local cable stations. But will voting really make a difference? All these politicians are the same.

  • I knew about the election but there's no reason to bother voting. I'm in one of the 37 districts that has been gerrymandered to the point where it would be impossible for the incumbents to lose.

  • I had no idea there was an election and now that I know I will have to decide whether to vote.

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