Below, the New Jersey voter turnout numbers from the June 5th primary. Dismal voter turnout is hardly new in New Jersey. And only 60% of us voted on November 8, 2016, so unpalatable to so many Americans were both the Republican and Democratic nominees. America elected Donald Trump president too). Phil Murphy became governor on an election day where 61.5% of his future constituents stayed home; my county of Hunterdon and Cape May county at the other end of the state had the highest turnout among counties – but both were still under 48%. That broke the last dismal NJ gubernatorial turnout record, 2013 Christie v. Buono 39.6%, and Chris Christie likewise took control of New Jersey in 2009 while most of us were asleep at the switch. The election that brought us Senator Cory Booker was the lowest of any statewide election, 24.5%, but that was by design; timed by a guarded, controlling Governor Christie for an October Wednesday so he didn’t have to stand for election on the same ballot as a superstar a lot of people like better than him.
The idea of anything less than a massive turnout for the 2018 midterms (now less than 100 days away) and beyond that, 2020, terrifies walking, phone-banking, Post-It writing, postcard mailing, meeting-attending voters who took their horror at Trump’s incompetence and the Republicans’ malevolence and are turning it into action. These are the numbers to beat; they also came after the Resistance.