In 2011, 12.7 percent of New Jersey voters said they went to the polls but chose not to select a candidate for every race, according to a recent research report by the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy.
The author of the report, John Froonjian, senior research associate, said the outcome of many races — including the three that were contested — might have changed if voters did not skip over races.
According to the report, voters cited lack of information as the major reason they skipped a race, but it also denotes a lack of interest. “The research found that the more lopsided a victory margin, the more likely it is that voters skipped marking their ballots in that race,” said the report. It is also more likely to occur with races farther down on the ballot.
In 2011, when the legislative races were at the top of the ticket, the study found that more than 86,000 potential votes for state Senate candidates went uncast, and nearly 117,000 potential Assembly votes were not cast.