Friday, February 10, 2012

VOTER TURNOUT

 Supporters  of the BOE and anti New Dems have used the argument that there are so few voters that turn out for the November election that the change would have no effect other than make the election political. Of course  if the BOE elections were none political there would be no organized slates such as SLAM,
 Councillor Rebecca Williams wrote this  as a comment to my blog "Reflections". Since that is several days old many will miss it and it is a must read.


"I think you may be mistaking the number of voters who come out for the spring PRIMARY elections (where voting is traditionally lighter) versus in the GENERAL election. For 2010 and 2009 (chosen because these were rather significantly contested races), the local GENERAL ELECTION results in Plainfield are as follows:

NOVEMBER 2010 (Pallone at the top of the ticket, and Plainfield's Linda Carter on the ticket) had a total of 7,368 voters in the 1st ,2nd, and 3rd wards for local candidates--here's the breakdown:

1st Ward
Dem - William REID 1,803 93.42%
Rep - Sean T. ALFRED 126 6.53%
Personal Choice 1 0.05%
Total 1,930 100.00%

2nd and 3rd Ward At-large
Dem - Rebecca WILLIAMS 4,590 84.41%
 

Rep - James PIVNICHNY 842 15.48%
Personal Choice 6 0.11%
Total 5,438 100.00%

NOVEMBER 2009 (Corzine at the top of the ticket) had a total of 7, 940voters in the Mayoral race--here's the breakdown:

Dem - SHARON M ROBINSON BRIGGS 5,202 65.52%
Rep - JAMES PIVNICHNY 2,277 28.68%
ELE - DEBORAH JOYCE DOWE 457 5.76%
Personal Choice 4 0.05%
Total 7,940 100.00%

That's an average of 7,600 voters in those two elections just for the local candidates. I think this helps make the point that more voters will come out in the fall. I think that the school board candidates, having a longer time to prepare for a campaign--gathering support through the spring and summer and working in the fall--would be able to meet many more voters, go door to door more effectively, and so on, with the change to November elections.

Under the old dates, the very short campaign window from filing date (late February) to the spring election (mid-April) precluded having a fair amount of campaign time, in my opinion. The cold, the snow, daylight standard time, etc., make it difficult for candidates to really get in front of the voters. Also, the hours that the voting booths are open has changed from 2:00-9:00 pm to 6:00 am - 8:00 pm.

I am convinced that there will be larger turnouts for the coming school board election years. It is up to the residents of Plainfield, though, to be vigilant about the corrupting influence of slates whose main reason for running candidates is to get what they perceive as control of the school budget dollars.

3 comments:

  1. The Grand SLAM consisted of a Democratic Liberal, a Democratic Conservative, a Republican and a Muslim. How much more diverse can you get? This slate was about similar ideals and ECONOMICS nothing more and not a thing less. Now let's go look for another boogie man!

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  2. 5:07am: Point missed; the slate could also has a teaparty member,and an atheist among the individuals.That would not make a difference. I am not talking Republicans or Democrats; once ther is an organized slate of candidates it then becomes political.

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  3. Then YOU and all your blogger mate are POLITICAL if we buy your analogy. Come off it DOC to get anywhere and do anything it TAKES a TEAM of people. If that's political so be it. But YOU should own your politics as well - the good, the bad and the Bloggers!

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