Slow start for voting in New Jersey primary

Polling place in Deptford, N.J. on primary election day, June 7, 2022. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Polling place in Deptford, N.J. on primary election day, June 7, 2022. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

It’s primary day in New Jersey, but without a marquee election there isn’t much interest at the polls. Compared to the national attention focused on Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race and the gubernatorial contest, it’s a largely quiet primary day for voters in South Jersey.

Some counties have as few as three races on the ballot, the top slot being given to the U.S. House of Representatives where Democrats currently hold 10 of the 12 positions in the state.  Republicans are hoping to change that in November, which helped draw some people out to vote in the few contested races.

Those contested races include the 3rd District where it’s real estate broker Nicholas Ferrara, businessman Bob Healy, and gym owner Ian Smith. Smith garnered attention for openly challenging Governor Phil Murphy’s COVID restrictions by opening up his business. The district covers all of Burlington County and parts of Ocean County. Incumbent Andy Kim is being challenged on the Democratic side, but he’s expected to win over challenger Reuven Hendler.

At the Lenola Fire Company in Burlington County, voter Judy Medici said she came out to send a message to Washington.

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Judy Medici and her son stand outside Lenola firehouse after voting on New Jersey’s primary election day, June 7, 2022. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

“I think change is good. We need to shake things up in this district and in the state,” Medici said. She added that with the cost of food and gas rising, it was time for a change in the current leadership in Washington and the midterm election was the time to start that change.

Colleen Pace of Moorestown said this is a critical election in the future of the United States.

“There’s no room for apathy, you’ve gotta vote, no matter how you feel you gotta vote,” she said.

Colleen Pace stressed the importance of voting. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

There were some early morning issues in Gloucester County, when voting machines were problematic while booting up, but election mechanics were able to resolve the issue quickly. It didn’t cause much of a delay, as there weren’t people clamoring to get in to vote. In fact at the Blackwood Terrace polling location on Good Intent Rd. no voters came in while the machine was unavailable.

New Jersey has pre-election voting, and mail-in ballots can still be cast until 8 p.m. tonight. If you are going to use a mail-in ballot, officials caution you to go to the county board of elections, a drop box that is in your county, or into the post office to be sure the ballot has been officially postmarked for it to count.

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Election locations will remain open until 8 p.m.

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