We’re admitted political junkies here at Shorebeat, and believe it’s always fun (and informative) to pick out some of the trends in town following each election.
Overall, Brick’s voter turnout beat the average in Ocean County as a whole. Out of Brick’s registered 50,417 registered voters, 16,862 voted in the township council race between Andrea Zapcic and Domenick Brando (including 31 people who voted for a write-in candidate). As a percentage, that translates to a 33.44 percent voter turnout.
Interestingly, however, the race for Board of Education had a higher turnout, wherein a total of 20,042 voters chose from four candidates, with 87 write-in votes cast. The reason why 3,180 people would vote for school board candidates – but not for any township council candidates – is unknown and any theories would be speculatory in nature. In past elections, observers have theorized that township residents who are also school district employees may have had an interest in voting for a school board candidate, but not necessarily for a council candidate. But the Brick district employs significantly fewer staff members than 3,180 (DataUniverse counts 922 employees as of 2012-13) making that theory hold little water.
Counting the full 20,042 voters who stepped into a booth to cast ballots for council and/or school board, turnout was 39.75 percent, above Ocean County’s average of 37.74 percent. In the county as a whole, 143,978 people cast ballots out of 381,491 registered voters.
Now, to the juicy stuff. This is where we congratulate the neighborhood that had the best turnout and call out the neighborhood that had the most people stay home.
According to election data from the Ocean County Clerk’s Office, District 28, in the township’s Herbertsville section has the most active voters. A full 53.25 percent of registered voters came to the polls – 303 out of 569. Honorable mention goes to District 2, also in Herbertsville, and District 40, near the center of town, which had above 48 percent turnout.
The district with the lowest participation was District 54, which encompasses the area in and around Lanes Mill Road, between Herbertsville and Burnt Tavern roads, in the northern reaches of the township. Only 22.41 percent of voters – 296 out of 1,321 total – cast a ballot Tuesday. Runners-up on the low side include District 39, in the northwest portion of town, where just 22.53 percent of voters participated, and District 47, in the same general area, where 23.33 percent of voters turned out.
We’re often asked how the voter turnout is in the township’s barrier island portion, especially in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. The barrier island makes up District 26, which had a turnout of 260 of 680 registered voters, enough for a 38.24 percent turnout rate, right around the township’s average.
What all of this means is up to you, the readers, to ponder. Shorebeat’s just the messenger.