Marjorie and Howard Fox after voting in Little Silver, above. Barbara Crowton, below, voted at the United Methodist Church in Red Bank. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)


As Newark Mayor Cory Booker coasted to victory in Tuesday’s special primary voting for the open United States Senate seat from New Jersey, widespread electoral lethargy surrounding the occasion was also evident on the Green Tuesday.

A visit to four polling sites – three in Red Bank and one in Little Silver – over the course of two hours after the heavy rain stopped found fewer than 10 voters in all. Most were glad to share thoughts about Governor Chris Christie’s decision to hold an October election to replace late Senator Frank Lautenberg apart from the November general election, at a cost of $24 million.

Several, all from the 40 and under set, said they were unaware that Tuesday’s primary was specially scheduled.

At the Woman’s Club of Little Silver, Howard Fox and his daughter Marjorie Fox both had strong objections to the special election.

“It was gratuitous to do it this way, ” said Howard.

“I think it’s crazy,” said Marjorie. “I think they should’ve had one primary and one election for everybody.”

Also in Little Silver, Maria McGloin had no issue with the scheduling. “It’s fine with me,” she said.

Barbara Crowton, at the United Methodist Church in Red Bank, was generally critical.

“They’re going to spend money on something, so they might as well spend on the voters,” she said. “Let them have their say, even though [the elected officials] aren’t going to listen to them anyway.  I’m 82, and I’ve been voting for a long time, and I don’t think they’ve listened much to the people, but I keep trying.”

Michael Kennedy, who voted at the Red Bank Senior Center, chose not to criticize the scheduling, instead emphasizing the importance of voting.

“I’ve never missed an election since I was 18 years old, and I’m 65 now,” Kennedy said. “My grandparents drilled it in us.”
According to the Star-Ledger, with 96 percent of the vote counted Tuesday night, Booker had won nearly 60 percent of the Democratic vote. Congressman Frank Pallone, of Long Branch was second with about 20 percent, and Congressman Rush Holt trailed with about 17 percent, the New York Times reported.
On the Republican side, former Bogota mayor Steven Lonegan easily won the Senate primary. He’ll face Booker in the October 16 special election.
From the Sledger:
In Monmouth County, where Pallone lives, county clerk M. Claire French said it was the slowest day in her 17 years on the job, and the first time there’s been an election in the middle of August. “I had to remind myself last night, oh, vote in the morning,” she said. “And I’m in the business.”