We all live in one of the world’s great democracies, where we enjoy the right to vote to select who will run our government.
Certainly not New Jersey voters. Turnout in the recent governor’s election was 2 million voters below the level of last year’s presidential elections. According to nj.com, turnout among registered voters in this year’s gubernatorial election may set an all-time low, at fewer than 37%.
Last year, 2.6 million New Jersey voters voted for Democrat Joe Biden (57% of voters). This year, half that many, 1.3 million, voted for Murphy. The drop-off in participation was much lower on the Republican side, with 1.9 million votes for Trump in 2020 compared to two-thirds of that for Ciattarelli (1.2 million votes). If two-thirds of Biden voters had supported Murphy, Murphy would have received an additional 400,000 votes and the race would not have been at all close.
But most New Jersey citizens decided to vote for apathy.
And they do this at a time when voters in at least 18 other states, governed by Republicans, are fighting new laws that restrict the right to vote.
It’s easy to think of New Jersey as a blue state. After all, there are close to a million more registered Democrats than Republicans in New Jersey. But you wouldn’t know that from the governor’s election results. New Jersey is really more blasé than blue. That’s a shame.