Polls Predict Primary Turnout Will Be Light

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STATE — New Jersey voters are barely aware that they have chance to vote the bums out—or in again, as they wish—on a balmy Tuesday in June, according to the most recent poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind™.  In that survey, fourteen percent correctly noted that the next time the public would have an opportunity to vote would be the state’s June primary election.

Most voters (48%) thought the next time would be in November.  A few (4%) figured they’d have to wait until the 2012 presidential election. Many said they just didn’t know (30%).

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“Americans have more opportunities to vote than any other people in the world,” said Peter Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll. “But we’re oblivious to it.”

One in five voters (21%) over 60 years of age knew they’d have their next chance in June, compared to 13% of boomers age 45-59, and to 5% of voters under 30.

And one in five Republican voters (20%) identified June as the next opportunity, compared to 13% of Democrats and 6% of independents.

“If you want your vote to count,” said Woolley, “a contested primary is where your vote has the most influence.  If you’re voting on primary day, you’re part of an elite.”

In the 2006 mid-term primary elections, voter turnout ranged from a low of 5% in Camden County to a high of 16% in Hunterdon.

The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of 555 registered voters statewide was conducted by telephone from May 20, 2010, through May 23, 2010, and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.


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