New Jersey is becoming notable for the lack of political participation by its citizens in general and by women in particular, according to a ranking by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
The group, which tracks data for the Status of Women in the states, gives New Jersey a “D” for political participation by women.
Why? Well, although women vote in higher numbers than men, the participation of both genders is dismal. Only 62 percent of women eligible to vote were registered in 2010/2012, while only 58 percent of men registered. The percent who voted was even smaller — 47 percent for women, 43 percent for men.
New Jersey performed equally poorly when it came to the number of women serving as elected officials. While there are a number of women in the state Legislature, and the lieutenant governor is female, the only woman in the congressional delegation is Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12), elected this past November.
New Jersey’s poor showing is despite the fact that it ranks first in the country when it comes to women having support from institutional groups set up to encourage them to participate in the political process. These institutions include a state chapter of the National Women’s Caucus, a commission for women, a training program for women who want to run for office, and a women’s political action committee.