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Huge turnout for Cherry Hill school spending referendum mostly Democrats, largely seniors

By David Wildstein, October 06 2022 4:39 pm

About 30% of all voters in Cherry Hill had already cast vote-by-mail ballots for today’s special school referendum where voters are being asked to approve a $363 million bond referendum for public school improvements, a colossal turnout in the kind of election that traditionally draws a small number of voters.

Those numbers do not include VBM ballots cast today, or in-person machine voting.

Voters rejected a  $210.8 million bond initiative in December 2018 by a margin of about ten percentage points.  In that election, nearly 11,000 votes were cast.  The total as of yesterday represents about 76% of the total turnout from four years ago, jus through vote-by-mail.

Snippets of data offer divergent clues as to where today’s vote will go.

Nearly seven out of ten (69.5%) of VBM ballots already cast have come from Democrats, with Republicans at 17% and unaffiliateds at 13%.    The local GOP is opposing the spending referendum.

But the age of early voters sends a potentially different message.  Nearly three-quarters of all early votes cast (73.3%) come from voters over age 50.   Half of all votes cast so far (49.9%) come from Cherry Hill voters who are over age 65.  In many communities, older voters who no longer use the school system tend to vote against increased school spending.

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