Sweeney Calls For Changes After Record Low Turnout In Special Senate Election

Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney

Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney

STATE – Did you vote in yesterday’s special U.S. Senate election?

If you said “yes,” you are part of a record-breaking small group. According to unofficial results with 99 percent reporting, just 1,306,608 of New Jersey’s 5,494,230 registered voters cast ballots – a 24 percent turnout.

The state’s previous low general election turnout came in 2011, when 27 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the state Senate and Assembly elections.

This is the first time in recent memory that New Jersey held an election on a Wednesday, and some believe that contributed to the low turnout.

New Jersey taxpayers spent nearly $12 million on the special election to fill the final 15 months of the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s term because Gov. Chris Christie decided to hold it separately from next month’s general election.

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) wants to address confusion in New Jersey succession law and “make it crystal clear” what happens when a senator dies.

“I’m going to have legislation that clears that up and makes sure that when someone passes, you have an election that happens at the next general election,” Sweeney told the Star-Ledger.


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