Election reform and NJ Transit fare hikes: why people don’t vote in statewide elections

Starting at Noon today there is a rally on the Statehouse steps to call on Senate President Sweeney & Speaker Prieto to stop fare hikes and service cuts. There are billions for corporate subsidies but nothing to stop fare increases. Does that make sense? – Promoted by Bill Orr 

Earlier this month, the top Democratic members of the Senate and Assembly introduced a bill aimed at increasing voter turnout in state elections. After yet another abysmally low turnout for a primary election, the lawmakers hypothesize that things like automatic voter registration and increasing early voting will increase voter turnout. While these might be good ideas for the democratic process in general, they will not increase voter turnout. The lack of any serious primary challengers has a lot more to do with it, with politicians' stale ideas about how to move New Jersey forward under no serious threat. But if Democrats in particular are looking for a reason why people aren't motiviated to get out the polls, you only have to look at the headlines to see why.


Earlier today, I had the pleasure of laying my eyes on this headline on NJ.com: “State Dems offer no relief for NJ Transit riders, fare hike is coming.” It seems that state Democrats, proposing a budget bill, have decided they would ignore the hundreds of people who've showed up in person at hearings and submitted comments online to NJ Transit about the about the 9% fare hike that the transit agency has proposed at the same time that Bloomberg reports that salaries have “soared” at the transportation agency.

When even Democrats can't be counted on to fight for the hardworking commuters, that's why people don't vote. When Democrats do nothing about rising transit fares while leaving the gas tax alone for three decades, starving the state of responsible transportation funding, that's why people don't vote. This destroys New Jerseyans' trust in politicians to fix what's broke in in this state. When NJ Transit puts on a dog and pony show of “public outreach” and then ignores everyone and does what they want anyway, that's why people don't vote. There's a sense that politicians will yell about abstract things like pensions and election reform, but when it comes to making positive change in New Jerseyans' everyday lives, they are absent. And that is truly why people don't vote.


Comments (2)

  1. dbkurz415

    I agree with this comment, but it also should be noted that most New Jersey residents – and Americans in General – do not understand the important role of the legislature in their lives.  

  2. keepitreal

    of a few. And people have just become resigned to that.  


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