Lowest turnout on record, but most voters since 1997

The Divison of Elections certified the official voter turnout numbers the other day and we set a record:

Turnout was 46.9% – the lowest on record for a gubernatorial election, down from 48.5% in 2005 and 49.3% in 2001, the only other times less than half of registered voters turned out at the polls.

Looked at another way, though, the turnout of 2,451,704 voters was the most for a governor’s race since 1997 and marked a 105,000 voter increase over the election four years ago.

The percentage turnout is affected by the presidential election registration surge typically seen every four years, which was particularly large in 2008. There were 390,000 more registered voters in 2009 than four years – and it’s likely that a goodly number were interested in the race for the White House but less jazzed about the run for Drumthwacket.

Here’s a link to the official results. The Christie/Guadagno ticket received 1,174,445 votes compared to 1,087,731 votes for Corzine/Weinberg.

Comments (4)

  1. 12mileseastofTrenton

    Or aboout a 3.7% margin.  Not a lot, but better than Whitman did in her two races.

    Reply
  2. rmfretz

    It’s an awful statement on our Republic that only 23.46 percent, actually less in Christie’s case because he didn’t hit 50%, can decide an election.  That’s why the Republicans want to put things like marriage up for a vote, because they know their folks will show up and Democrats don’t.  2010 will have similar turnout.  

    Reply
  3. Dvd Avins

    Right now, thanks to the Obama campaign, an unusually high proportion of eligible voters are registered. So of course the percentage of registered voters who voted in the gubernatorial race was low.

    Also, the state has a higher population than it used to, hence more eligible voters, so of course more people voted.

    The best way to judge participation levels is to look at votes as a percentage of eligible voters, both registered and unregistered. The number of eligible voters is not an officially kept statistic, but I’ve seen good estimates of it in past races, especially nationally. I haven’t seen it for this race, and without it all these comparisons are just babble by officials and media who want to seem like they’re saying something meaningful.

    Reply

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