Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Voter Registration Set for Feb. 5 Primary

The Union County Board of Elections has posted voter registration figures for the first-time Feb. 5 Presidential Primary.

Democrats make up 46.5 percent of the 18,376 total, but in Wards 1, 3 and 4, there was a decline in Democrats since May 2007. Ward 1 lost 25, Ward 3 declined by 34 and Ward 4 saw a drop of 24, compared to an increase of 27 in Ward 2. The net figures are 8,609 Democrats in May 2007 and 8,553 now.

Republicans are also down since May 2007, when the total was 1,062. It is now 1,034, or 5.6 percent of all registered voters in Plainfield.

Unaffiliated voters increased from 8,497 in May 2007 to 8,785 now. They can take part in the Feb. 5 primary by declaring a party affiliation at the polls.

There is one registered Green Party member in Plainfield and three Libertarians.

Republicans have been on the decline for many years now and have no representation on the governing body. The GOP must reorganize this year, filling up to 68 city committee seats and selecting a chairman for the next two years after the June primary.

Although there is no significant two-party participation in Plainfield, Democratic factionalism persists, at least in the minds of Regular Democrats who still see a threat from the New Democrats founded by the late Mayor Albert T. McWilliams and currently headed by former Freeholder Adrian Mapp. If there is viable opposition to the Regular Democratic Organization, it may surface in the upcoming school board election or more likely in the June primary.

The school board election is supposed to be non-partisan, but like avid bird-watchers, politicians attempt to identify New Democrats by their familial habits. After all, birds of a feather flock together, don’t they?

--Bernice Paglia


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