On October 16th – a Wednesday, no less – New Jersey voters are being asked to go to the polls to select a new U.S Senator to replace Jeffrey Chiesa, Gov. Chris Christie’s stand-in for the long-time Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg, who died earlier this year. Bizarrely, this oh-so-special election takes place just 20 days before these same voters will be asked to return to the polls for the regularly scheduled election for governor and state legislature.
The cost to New Jersey taxpayers? Some $12 million. The adverse impact on voter turnout for having two separate elections in 20 days? Significant. The partisan calculation behind the election date? Blatant.