A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Did You Vote in 2011? Likely Not. Very Likely Not.

The Monmouth County Clerk's Election Division posts election results and information online. If you check out Aberdeen Township's 2011 municipal election results, you'll find that less than a quarter (24.6%) of all eligible voters (2,764/11,209) visited their polling place and voted on election day.* The statistics are shameful, with over two-thirds not voting in the best district and nearly 85% not voting in the worst case.
  • District 1 (Cliffwood Fire House) had the worst participation at 16.6% (196/1,183). While that district had 10.6% of all eligible voters, only 7% showed up at the polls that day. In other words, voters in District 1 forfeited more than a third (-34%) of their franchise.
  • District 7 (EMS Building at 260 Church Street) had the best participation at 29.3% (201/685). That district boosted its overall influence in the township by a fifth (+20%) by showing up at the polls.

* The numbers used in this study exclude 163 voters who voted by mail-in ballot and 12 who filed a provisional ballot. These numbers cannot be applied to this discussion because their geographic aspect cannot be discerned from the statistics. Fortunately the numbers are low, at only 1.5% of all eligible voters.

Check out the 2011 participation rankings below.**
  1. District 7 (EMS Building, Lloyd RD at Church ST) 29.3% (201 out of 685)
  2. District 11 (Fire House, Church ST at Lloyd RD) 28.8% (149/518)
  3. District 6 (High School, Atlantic AV) 28.0% (201/718)
  4. District 4 (VFW, Cliffwood AV) 27.1% (329/1215)
  5. District 10 (Fire House, Church ST at Lloyd RD) 26.4% (192/726)
  6. District 13 (High School, Atlantic AV) 26.3% (207/785)
  7. District 2 (Fire House, off Cliffwood AV) 25.7% (308/1198)
  8. District 9 (EMS Building, Lloyd RD at Church ST) 25.1% (210/836)
  9. District 3 (VFW, Cliffwood AV) 24.4% (190/778)
  10. District 5 (Cross of Glory Lutheran, Cambridge DR) 24.1% (131/542)
  11. District 12 (Cross of Glory Lutheran, Cambridge DR)  23.1% (208/901)
  12. District 8 (Municipal Building, Church ST) 21.5% (242/1124)
  13. District 1 (Fire House, off Cliffwood AV) 16.6% (196/1183)

** I've color-coded the regions to show how no region is voting more than any other. Voting or not may have more to do with the average age of residents, home owners vs renters, or some other characteristic. Any thoughts?

Hopefully more folks will vote on 5 November due to the governor race and 3 town council contests being waged this year. You can't vote out your Congressman this year, so maybe you'll decide to stay home. Don't. You should vote. Exercise your right to cast a ballot. Bring up the numbers and show you care.


  1. http://matawan-aberdeen.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/the-glassworks-does-not-work-for-aberdeen-residents

    I recently received the Fall 2013 edition of the “Aberdeen Update Newsletter” published by our town council. The front page featured an article that said, “Glassworks is an exciting, productive addition to our community.” I took the time to read through this article, and several concerning questions came to my mind. The glassworks is supposed to include a retail stores, service oriented businesses and restaurants. It is also going to include 500 new residential units.
    Mayor Tagliarini and Deputy Mayor Montone both spoke glowingly about how “the Glassworks is going to be a great asset to the community.” How? Most residents of Aberdeen would agree that the old Anchor Glass site is a dilapidated eyesore, and something clearly needs be done about it. It is clear that both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are very happy that it’s going to be demolished; this is where my agreement with them stops.
    The citizens of Aberdeen are not being told about any of the negative impacts of this project, which at first glance looks really nice, since it demolishes old structures that are in a state of decay. I am left wondering exactly what kind of planning they did, since the developer is getting everything that he wants. The 500 residential units will add up to 850 new students into the Matawan Aberdeen Regional School District. As a former member of the Board of Education, I know this will cause district to have a public ballot referendum in order to build new schools, or at least expand the existing schools. The cost of this construction project alone will run into the tens of millions of dollars! The school district only has about 3300 students currently enrolled; the yearly educational cost of 850 new students will cause the school budget to rise by almost 25%. The taxpayer cost of this project could be devastating and the recurring taxpayer cost of all of the new students will result in the average Aberdeen property taxpayer to have an increase of $500-$1000 or more per year forever. These are only the financial implications of this project.
    The impact to the quality of life in Aberdeen will be severe. This development will put up to 1000 additional cars every day on an already congested Cliffwood Avenue. I am very concerned about the “what the developer says are three historic vestiges.” These historic vestiges are the three smokestacks at the site. What happens when the developer leaves? Who maintains the smokestacks? I hope that will not be left to the taxpayers and citizens of Aberdeen. We already have a similar situation with a contaminated site that the incumbent Council before every election promises will have affordable senior housing built on it. They have been promising this to our seniors for over a decade.
    The citizens of Aberdeen must not be stuck with costs, when developers sell residential units, and jump town with a big sack of money over their shoulder. This project is so reminiscent of many past projects, where developers make a lot of money at the expense of our property tax dollars and our quality of life.
    A vote on November 5, 2013 for the “Toomey Vail Failla” team will lead to smart development; that adds positive ratable business tax revenue to stabilize Aberdeen’s finances; instead of raising our property taxes, overburdening our schools and diminishing our quality of life. Twelve plus years of single party control has not been beneficial for the citizens of Aberdeen. Now is the time to make that change, because we cannot afford projects like “Glassworks.” Vote Toomey, Vail and Failla on November 5th and get government that will serve you, instead of one that serves itself.

    Kenneth M. Aitken