Poll: Is There a Way to Cure the Anemic Turnout for NJ’s Primaries?

NJ Spotlight | June 5, 2014 | Polling
With less than 8 percent of eligible voters bothering to show up, can anything be done to put some electricity back in the elections?

Tuesday’s primary election may have brought about a few surprises — the ease of victory by Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, making her likely to become the first black woman to join the New Jersey congressional delegation; Jeff Bell, who ran for U.S. Senate over 30 years ago will once again be the Republican standard bearer in the November Senate race; and Tom MacArthur’s huge margin of victory over better known Steve Lonegan in South Jersey’s contest between two carpetbaggers.

But what wasn’t a surprise was the tiny turnout for an off-year primary election. Sadly, these decisions were made by what was at last count, less than 8 percent of registered voters. Only 12.7 percent of registered Democrats and 15.5 Republicans went to the polls.