Home>Campaigns>915k N.J. voters have requested absentee ballots so far

A ballot drop box in Mercer County. (Photo: New Jersey Division of Elections).

915k N.J. voters have requested absentee ballots so far

As usual, registered Democrats heavily outnumber Republicans in VBM requests

By Joey Fox, September 27 2022 12:40 pm

The 2022 general election is officially underway.

915,010 New Jersey voters have so far requested an absentee ballot for the November election, representing around 14% of the state’s registered voters (both active and inactive), according to an analysis conducted by Ryan Dubicki of the Associated Press.

As is usually the case in modern New Jersey elections, Democrats are requesting far more absentee ballots than Republicans, by a rate of 3-1. 522,161 Democrats have requested ballots (57% of the total), compared to 164,905 Republicans (18%), 223,126 unaffiliated voters (24%), and 4,818 voters registered with minor parties (0.5%).

That advantage holds across all of the state’s competitive congressional districts.

In the 7th district, the most closely fought district in the state this cycle, Democrats have requested 45,660 ballots (51%), while Republicans have requested 21,017 (24%). Democrats have an advantage of 49,025 (57%) to 16,807 (20%) in the 3rd district, 38,522 (55%) to 12,811 (18%) in the 5th district, and 47,763 (56%) to 14,959 (18%) in the 11th district.

That doesn’t mean Democrats are on track to win in a landslide, however. The day before the 2021 gubernatorial election, 64% of all absentee ballots returned were cast by Democrats, but Republicans nearly flipped the governor’s mansion anyways thanks to the Republican lean of Election Day voters.

Since there’s no statewide race this year – something that happens once every 12 years in New Jersey – the state’s 12 congressional elections are the top of this year’s ticket. That could lead to some turnout discrepancies between competitive and non-competitive districts, since voters in those districts will be subjected to more campaigning and outreach efforts.

Such discrepancies likely would not show up in absentee ballot requests, however, because some parts of the state are more prone to absentee voting than others. The two districts with the most requests so far are the 1st and 12th, which include some or all of Camden, Mercer, and Middlesex Counties, the three counties that previously have had the highest rates of absentee voting.

So far, 224 total ballots have been returned, representing the first votes New Jersey voters will cast in this year’s election. It’s something of a mystery how many absentee ballots will eventually be requested and returned; this is the first federal midterm to take place after Covid, which significantly reshaped how the state casts its votes.

Spread the news: