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New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way demonstrates new machines for early voting at a meeting of county election officials on August 5, 2021. (Photo: NJ Secretary of State).

Majority of voters plan on voting in-person on Election Day

91% say they’re very or somewhat motivated to vote

By Joey Fox, September 22 2021 11:00 am

54% of respondents to a Monmouth University poll released today said they plan on voting in-person on Election Day in this year’s gubernatorial and state legislative elections, versus 35% who said they’ll vote by mail. Another 6% said they plan on utilizing the state’s new in-person early voting option.

In the 2017 general election, only 8.3% of voters cast votes by mail, with the remainder voting in-person; 12.3% voted by mail in 2018, and 16.7% did so in 2019. The arrival of Covid, however, temporarily switched the state to a near-total vote-by-mail system, and 28.6% of votes were cast by mail in the 2021 primary election even during a relative lull in the pandemic.

Regardless of how they plan on voting, respondents near-uniformly expressed motivation to participate in the election. 67% of respondents said they’re “very motivated” to vote, and a further 24% said they’re “somewhat motivated.” Only 8% said they’re “not that motivated.”

Unlike Monmouth’s August poll, which showed self-identified Republicans holding a noticeable enthusiasm gap, today’s poll finds 76% of Democrats and 73% of Republicans are very motivated to vote. White and older respondents were also both more likely to say they were very motivated.

The motivation numbers are a far cry, however, from the true turnout statistics usually found in gubernatorial elections. Only 39% of registered voters turned out to vote in 2017, while 40% turned out in 2013. 

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