And the big winner was – democracy. Congratulations to Highland Park residents for voting in record numbers for midterm elections even though the local contests were uncontested. The political slugfest between incumbent U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and businessman Bob Hugin generated about 900,000 more votes than New Jersey’s last Senate race, according to preliminary data.
While official turnout figures aren’t yet available, vote tallies for the top race on this year’s ballot already show a 48 percent increase in votes cast compared to the 2014 midterm elections. This year’s race, a Menendez victory, saw 2,767,892 total votes, with 98 percent of precincts reporting. That works out to 47 percent of the state’s more than 5.9 million registered voters.
In Middlesex County, the vote totals were as follows:
BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS
Two three-year terms
Shanti Narra (D)…120,148
Ronald G. Rios (D)..123,915
Richard N. Castaldo (R)…72,985
Lewis Glogower (R)…70.921
HIGHLAND PARK BOROUGH COUNCIL
Two three-year terms
Stephany Kim-Chohan (D)…3,444
Susan Welkovits (D)…3,451
One unexpired one-year term
Matthew Hale (D)…3,508
HIGHLAND PARK SCHOOL BOARD
Three three-year terms
NEW JERSEY HOUSE RESULTS, 6TH DISTRICT
Frank Pallone (D)…121,502
Rich Pezzullo (R)…72,337
A New Jersey ballot question on issuing $500 million in bonds, primarily for expanding vocational-technical programs and installing security measures at school buildings, was approved by voters Tuesday.
The “Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act” was approved with 52 percent of the ballots cast in favor of the measure.
The bond will also support water infrastructure projects in school districts, which have been required by the state to test their water for lead since 2016.
Proponents of the question, which passed the Legislature with bipartisan support, contended the state needed to invest in its county vocational-technical schools to serve more students and meet the needs of the state’s employers. About 33,000 students are enrolled at the schools, which turned away 17,000 applicants last year due to lack of capacity, advocates said.
The bond measure was previously approved by lawmakers to be $1 billion, but Gov. Murphy halved it in a conditional veto, citing concern about the state’s debt level.
Some advocates objected to the measure, arguing that its focus on the county vocational schools ignored broader repair and construction needs in districts across the state.
Apparently, New Jersey voters also were concerned about the debt, because the vote was closer than many of the proposal’s advocates anticipated.