Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Voter Rolls Up 19 Percent

A voter registration summary from the Union County Board of Elections shows an increase of 18.9 percent overall in Plainfield since the June primary, with the largest numbers of new voters in Wards 1 and 4.

The total number of registered voters went up 3,582, from 18,934 to 22,516. Proportionally, Democrats went from 56 percent of the total to 59 percent, while unaffiliated voters went from 35 percent to 39 percent and Republicans decreased from 5.7 percent to 4.9 percent. The actual numbers were 1,358 more Democrats, 2,207 unaffiliated and 17 more Republicans.

By wards, voter numbers went up 23 percent in Ward 1, 14.4 percent in Ward 2, 17.2 percent in Ward 3 and 24.2 percent in Ward 4.

However, these numbers don't mean much unless those registered actually go to the polls and vote. The number of districts in Ward 4 has gone down over the years due to low turnout. The citywide number of voting districts is now 34, with a male and female named in each district during the primary. Republicans chose committee members this year, Democrats will do so next year. Those elected to party committees pick a chairman for the ensuing two years.

But never mind next year, even though campaigning has already begun. This is the historic year for voting. Have your say on a new president. Do whatever it takes to get to the polls and vote. If you are a new voter, be sure to bring identification. Campaigning at the polls is not allowed, so leave the T-shirts, hats, buttons and other paraphernalia at home so you don't get turned away.

As much as we all want to know Tuesday night who won, the votes, including absentee and provisional ballots, may not all be tallied until later. Local primary winners are unopposed, except for one write-in contest in Ward 3, but other contests will not have official results for some time.

Once all the counting is done, election officials face the task of analyzing this year's process to see how things can be done better the next time. Innovations in voting have not necessarily been improvements. You can bet there will be plenty of analysis in the media, not just on the results, but on the preparedness or lack thereof at the polls.

For today, get out and vote, have patience if there's a line, give your pollworkers a kind word as they put in a very long day, say a prayer for the nation and maybe, in days hence, be ready to give thanks.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernice, The PMUA had a legal ad today 11/4/08 in courier on raising rates. There maybe a story there ...

10:45 AM  

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