About Half of Residents Registered to Vote
We've got everything you need to know about the November elections.
Elections are Tuesday, but only about half of the town will be able to participate in this year’s vote.
According to Jerry Midgette, Somerset County election board administrator, out of the town of about 45,000 people, only 28,243 Bridgewater residents are registered to vote.
That number breaks down into 7,635 registered Republican, 6,475 registered Democrat, 13 registered Libertarian, two registered in the Green party and one registered with the Constitution party.
Midgette said he does not expect a large turnout of voters this year because it is an off year, with there not being a presidential or gubernatorial race.
“The percentage is usually below 50 percent, maybe in the 40 percent range,” he said. “It typically doesn’t go over 50 percent in an off year.”
Throughout the year, Midgette said, the board of elections focuses its attention on encouraging residents to register, then encourages them to actually vote when it gets closer to November.
“We advertise voting on the website, and we do public announcements periodically,” he said. “Throughout the year, we try to get people to come out and participate.”
“It is all about getting people registered first, then we shift to having them come out to vote,” he added.
At this point, Midgette said, there are also a number of absentee ballots being sent in, but the numbers of those are not very high either.
And residents can still register to vote through absentee ballot. Midgette said they have until 3 p.m. Monday to file for a mail-in ballot, and until 8 p.m. Tuesday to turn it in.
Anyone wishing to use a mail-in ballot, Midgette said, needs to go to the county clerk’s office in Somerville to fill out an application.
“There’s still time,” he said. “It’s too late to register to vote. And it’s too late to get the absentee ballot by mail, but you can come in to the office for it.”
Locally, Republican Dan Hayes, Democrat Jim Ventantonio and Independent George Jones are running for mayor. Republican incumbents Matthew Moench and Christine Henderson Rose are running for two open council seats, against Democrats Mary Pranzatelli and John Rooney.
On the county level, Republican incumbents Peter Palmer and Robert Zaborowski are running against Democrats Wes Ifan and Christian Mastondrea for two seats on the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
With Bridgewater now in the 23rd district following the redistricting in the recent United States census, Republican incumbent Michael Doherty is running against Democrat Rev. John Graf Jr. and Independent Daniel Seyler for a Senate position.
In the Assembly, Republican incumbents John DiMaio and Erik Peterson are being challenged by Democrats Karen Carroll and Scott McDonald.
Also on the ballot is a question concerning a constitutional amendment to allow for wagering on professional, college or amateur sporting events at Atlantic City casinos and horse racetracks. A yes vote, according to literature from the League of Women Voters, would allow the legalization of placing bets on certain sporting events at these locations, while it is currently only allowed in Nevada and Delaware.
As for the polls, Bridgewater is broken down into 36 districts.
- Districts 1 and 2 will vote at the Bradley Gardens Firehouse, on Old York Road
- Districts 3, 14 and 27 will vote at Adamsville Primary School, on Union Avenue
- Districts 4 and 11 will vote at the Bridgewater Municipal Complex, on Commons Way
- Districts 5, 33, 34 and 35 will vote at the 4-H Center, on Milltown Road
- Districts 6 and 17 will vote at Hamilton Primary School, on Hamilton Lane
- Districts 7, 18 and 32 will vote at the Green Knoll Volunteer Fire Co., on North Bridge Street
- District 8 will vote at the People Care Center, on Finderne Avenue
- Districts 8, 9 and 15 will vote at the Finderne Rescue Squad, on Union Avenue
- Districts 10, 12 and 24 will vote at Blessed Sacrament Church, on Washington Valley Road
- Districts 13, 22, 28 and 29 will vote at Hillside Intermediate School, on Brown Road
- Districts 16 and 31 will vote at Country Hills Volunteer Fire Co., on Milltown Road
- District 19 will vote at Van Holten Primary School, at Van Holten Road
- District 21 will vote at the Bridgewater Senior Center, on Somerville Road
- District 23 will vote at Crim Primary School, on Crim Road
- Districts 25 and 26 will vote Eisenhower Intermediate School, on Eisenhower Avenue
- Districts 30 and 36 will vote at Bridgewater United Methodist Church, on Country Club Road.
Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.