Belmar residents ready for Election Day despite expected low turnout

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Tuesday is Election Day across the country, and all 80 seats in the state Assembly are on the ballot in New Jersey.

But political experts say that voter turnout is expected to be very low – with 75% of the voter base staying home – because there aren’t any federal elections on the ballot. But voters in Belmar tell News 12 New Jersey that they are ready to head to the polls.

“It's a small town. They're influenced by a lot, they're influenced by a lot of new structures coming in,” says Wall Township resident Patty McGowan. “The beach, they have a lot in their property values. They're worried about their taxes, so they want to get involved.”

Many Belmar residents told News 12 that taxes were on the top of their list of concerns heading into this year’s election. Customers at Beckman’s Deli said that the local City Council race was also important.

“We’ve had Democrats. We got Republicans…the town is kind of 50-50,” says Charles Beckman of Beckman’s Deli. Beckman says that he never misses a chance to make his voice heard at the polls.

Statewide, Republicans are defending 26 Assembly seats, while Democrats are hoping to add to their 54-seat majority. There is one special election for state Senate in the southernmost district in the state.

MORE: New Jersey Power & Politics

“The midterm elections are always a referendum on the executive,” says Micah Rasmussen of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics.

But Rasmussen says that Republican efforts to label the election "the Murphy midterms" could fall flat.

“When you see the kind of midterm that becomes a real rebuke of a governor or for a president, it's when they're a lightning rod. And I don't see that being the case with Gov. Murphy,” he says.

Rasmussen says that Murphy has not been that high-profile of a governor – like Murphy’s predecessor Chris Christie.

“He wasn't the household name that everybody's talking about every day, for better or for worse,” Rasmussen says.

As for the local Belmar election - two council seats are up grabs. Republican incumbents James McCracken and Thomas Carvelli are facing Democratic challengers Maggie McBride and Cheryl Russo as well as Independent James Bean.


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