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GOP Will Benefit From Down Voter Turnout, NJ Insiders Say

Both parties also approve of governor's level of support for those more affected by Sandy.

Republicans will be mostly likely to benefit from a down voter turnout Tuesday in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, New Jersey political insiders believe.

According to a Patch poll of state elected officials and party insiders, 15 of 22 Republican respondents believe voter turnout will be down slightly from where it would have been otherwise. Of 27 Democratic respondents, 26 expect there will be either a slight or sharp decline in turnout.

"The areas likely to remain without power by Tuesday are predominantly smaller, suburban and rural communities that are typically Republican bases," one Republican respondent said.

"Power restoration to urban areas, with higher Democratic concentration, seems to have been prioritized," the respondent continued. "This could have an especially significant impact on races like the Bergen freeholder race, which depends on heavy turnout in northern Bergen to offset Democratic vote share in Hackensack, Teaneck and Englewood."

Sandy ripped through New Jersey last Monday night, causing massive damage to the shoreline and knocking out power across the state. Several hundred thousand remain without power one week later.

"It's going to be difficult for a lot of people who lost everything," one Democratic respondent said. "The last thing they're thinking about is voting...it may impact or skew the results of the elections since not all people have the opportunity to cast a ballot."

Both parties, including 68 percent of the Democrats polled, agreed Republicans would benefit from less voters on Election Day.

However, one Democrat said the lower turnout could favor the president.

"It may improve Obama's standing among independents and those few voters who were still undecided as recently as 10 days ago," the respondent said. "It will also demonstrate that government has a crucial role to play in addressing issues like disaster relief and infrastructure development that just cannot be 'outsourced' or privatized.

Both sides were divided along party lines when asked if the state has done its part to properly prepare for the elections just one week after the storm.

More than 76 percent of Republican respondents said the "state government has done enough to make election day run efficiently and effectively." However, most Democrats disagreed, saying there should have been more communication about the polling location changes and transportation accommodations should be provided to bring voters to the new polling place.

One Republican agreed.

"I consider myself well informed and I still don't know where I will be voting since regular polling place does not yet have power," the GOP respondent said.

Republicans and Democrats polled approved of Gov. Chris Christie's support of those most affected by the storm.

More than 80 percent of Republican respondents "strongly approve" of Christie's handling of those affected by Sandy, while more than 85 percent of Democrats either "somewhat approve" or "strongly approve."

However, one Republican criticized Christie's response to the storm, including his interaction with President Barack Obama.

"Christie could have welcomed the president with all due courtesy and respect, while not completely fawning over him," one Republican respondent said. "Does Christie secretly want Romney to lose? I'm additionally disappointed in Christie's heavy-handed response to Sandy. Rationing gasoline? Who does Christie think he is? Jimmy Carter? No wonder he and Obama get along so swimmingly."

The significance of Tuesday's election was also on the minds of many respondents.

"This is the most important election of our lifetime," one Republican said. "The direction of the country will be determined."

Furious Hills November 06, 2012 at 03:49 AM
We were told we could vote by email and it is a lie! I emailed the Somerset County Board of Elections and was told to email a signed and scanned application which I did on Sunday. I was told I would get an electronic ballot back by email which never came back. They are making me either drive over 100 miles back from where I went to stay in PA or not vote!!! Absolute violation of my right to vote!!!!
Natalie Davis (Editor) November 06, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Furious Hills, I live in Union County and the same thing happened to me. So in order to cast a vote—I'm working all night here in Morris—I have to drive to my town to vote at 6 and turn right around and drive back here. Not pleased, especially because of the gas that will have to be burned. Grr.
Brett Kaiser November 06, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Is this a news article or an Editorial? Who are these Political insiders? >> "It's going to be difficult for a lot of people who lost everything," one Democratic respondent said Do you plan on Providing ANY Names? Or did you write this in a pub?
Terry November 06, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Obviously it's no help right now, but absentee voting by mail in NJ is simple and doesn't require an excuse of any kind. As a non-driver, I never know what November 6th's weather will bring, so have been voting this way for 5+ years. Needless to say, this year it was a great relief to have that concern off my mind.
maryanne November 06, 2012 at 09:25 AM
This is going to be ugly.
B@B November 06, 2012 at 10:34 AM
All the more reason to get out and vote. If Republicans win because they are the choice of the people, so be it. But no one should be allowed to win by default through disenfranchisement, whether deliberate (as we see in Ohio and Florida) or by logistical problems.
Nose Wayne November 06, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Why does everyone wait for the last minute, get out there and VOTE!!!!!!
PatchLover November 06, 2012 at 11:59 AM
My wife and I went early morning at 6am (as we have always done) on our way to work to Vote. To our surprise we were told that my wife cannot vote because she is a mail in voter. We never requested a mail in ballot. We were asked to go to the court house. We did not because we had to go to work to south Jersey. We are very disappointed.
Journey November 06, 2012 at 12:22 PM
http://www.njelections.org/voting-access-feedback-form.html Should have demanded to file out provsinal ballot.
Journey November 06, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Timeline of vote by email request in Hudson county. Nov 4, 2012, at 8:50 AM: sent the form requesting ballot Nov 4, 2012, at 11:33 AM: received confirmation it was received Nov 5, 2012, at 8:54 AM: sent email nagging because I had not received my ballot yet (I also called) Nov 5, 2012, at 1:35 PM: received this response: "We have received email applications in the thousands. if you havent received further correspondence or your email then your application has not yet been processed. the staff is working as fast as humanly possible" Nov 5, 2012, at 2:27 PM: I received my ballot What have done to check your status?
Journey November 06, 2012 at 12:37 PM
See my response above.
Journey November 06, 2012 at 12:47 PM
you MuST Vote by provisional Ballot if: 1. You are a registered voter in the County who moved within the County and did not notify the County Commissioner of Registration before election day of your current address; or 2. Your registration information is not complete in the poll book, for example your signature or address is missing; or 3.* You are an “Active need ID” voter who has not provided identification information (see above section); or 4. There is a marking in the poll book that you applied for a mail-in ballot, but you tell the board worker, you did not apply for a mail-in ballot, you applied for a mail-in ballot, but did not receive the ballot or you received a mail-in ballot but did not return it. *for the provisional ballot to count, a copy of your ID must be submitted to your County Commissioner of registration by close of business on the second day after the election. how to Vote by provisional Ballot: 1. The board worker will give you a paper ballot and an envelope. 2. The board worker must provide you with a place to vote the ballot in secret. 3. Put the voted ballot in the envelope and seal it.
Journey November 06, 2012 at 12:47 PM
4. Sign and complete the “Affirmation Statement” that is attached to the envelope. DO NOT DETACh the Affirmation Statement. *If you do not sign the Affirmation Statement, your ballot will not be counted. 5. Give the envelope to the board worker. 6. Watch the board worker put the envelope into the provisional ballot bag, or you may put your ballot into the bag yourself. 7. If you spoil your ballot, you have the right to ask the boardworker for another ballot. No provisional ballot is counted at the polling place. All provisional ballots are taken to the County Commissioner of Registration’s office after the close of the polls for verification and counting by the County Board of Election. After the election, you can call 1-877-NJ-VOTER (1-877-658-6837) to find out if your ballot was counted. If your ballot was not counted, you can find out why it was rejected. Complaint Forms are available if you have a complaint regarding the conduct of the election at this polling place. Ask any board worker for a form. Morris County Commissioner of Registration Regular Office Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30 am-4:30 pm (973) 285-6715 or 1-877-NJ-VOTER (1-877-658-6837)
Journey November 06, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Because I vote in Hoboken, known for dirty elections, I often bring my voters bill of rights with me when I vote. An ounce of prevention and all that…
P_R_PC November 06, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Haimoff on the ballot for Millburn Township Council. DO NOT...I REPEAT....DO NOT VOTE FOR HER!!! Write in anyone else...I chose Dan Baer. Write in Mickey Mouse, Superman or McCheese...anything is better. Be smart MIllburn/Short Hills - if you think they won't select her mayor again you might be surprised. This town is backassward.
bbbnto November 06, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Not one of the people who was quoted was cited by name or organization. This article is an opinion, not a news article, except for one, a "Patch Poll". It did not provide demographic or geographic information. Poorly written article that can actually disuade people from going to vote. I'm not being paranoid, but it sure sounds like this...
Linda Kalodner November 06, 2012 at 01:52 PM
We're out of power and our polling place changed. I was dismayed to learn from some neighbors that they did not know where to vote. There was not enough emphasis on this and if you did not have a smart phone or access to a computer, one would not know. Absolutely disgraceful.
elle November 06, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Looks as if you need to be a "displaced" voter- no home to go to in order to vote via email. Being out of power may not qualify.
abook November 06, 2012 at 04:07 PM
so who allegedly benefits? the title says GOP but the details say Demo.
J November 06, 2012 at 05:04 PM
This article is a fraud. If most of the areas still without power are GOP-leaning, any decrease in turnout will be concentrated in those areas disproportionately and decrease Republican vote totals, not Democratic ones. Sounds like wishful thinking by those "GOP insiders", none of whom had the guts to identify themselves for fear of looking foolish tomorrow morning. And as to the insinuation that urban areas were prioritized because of some nefarious plot to aid Democratic areas first, kindly recall that our Governor is a Republican. If more densely populated areas got attention first, there's a simple reason for that--more people live and work there!
Pat Tine November 06, 2012 at 05:17 PM
You should report it! 1 800 OUR VOTE
XJS November 06, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Good lord. The suburbs and shore communities have more republicans than democrats. The cities are populated with far more republicans than democrats. The shore & suburbs are mostly still out of power. The cities are being brought online first. Who do YOU think is going to vote? The family with no power in suburbia or the person in any of our major cities that HAS power? I'm guessing the democrat in the city is voting. I think Sandy is going to help the dems and hurt the republicans. This only matters insofar as Menendez & Sires getting re-elected. Disgusting.
XJS November 06, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Yea I read it that way too. I think someone wrote this while drunk!
XJS November 06, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Absolutely. When resources (such as power) are scarce, populated areas need to be brought online first. It's quite simple. Despite the title, this article makes the argument that the GOP will be hurt, and the Democrats will be helped.
Suzann Frattolillo Gemelos November 06, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Displaced Voters can walk into ANY polling place and vote a provisional ballot. Can't vote in their local races at another poll but still better then nothing!!! Directive Expanding Ability of Displaced Voters to Vote In order to facilitate voter participation, and pursuant to the authorities vested in me by Executive Order 104, you are hereby directed as follows: 1. A displaced voter may vote by provisional ballot at any polling place in the State. a. All ballots must be counted by the Board of Elections in the voter's county of registration. b. If a voter casts a ballot in a county other than the voter’s county of registration, the Board of Election in receipt of the provisional ballot must deliver it to the Commissioner of Registration of the voter’s county of registration by overnight mail or hand delivery. c. All eligible votes must be counted. i. The appropriate Board must count the votes of all registered voters for the offices of President and United States Senator and on any statewide question; and, ii. The appropriate Board must count the votes cast for any other office or question for which the voter is otherwise eligible to vote.
Furious Hills November 07, 2012 at 04:39 PM
I ended up coming back from PA Tuesday afternoon to vote. I had to drive 80 miles to make sure I could vote in person. I never received a response from the county election board.
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