In a letter to the editor, Hoboken resident Kevin Davis breaks down the data from last month’s $241 million school referendum voters.
Almost a month has passed since the January 25th, 2022, Hoboken School Bond election. This week, the Hudson County Board of Elections closed the election which means that I was able to obtain a list of registered voters who had voted in the election.
Who voters vote for is private, but if they vote and what elections they vote in is public information. With this list, I was able to determine the political party, turnout, age, and past voting history of the January 25th electorate.
Hoboken is a heavily Democratic city as 46.5% of registered voters are Democrats, 37.3% are Unaffiliated (independent), and only 15.4% are registered Republicans.
Of those that came out to vote on January 25th, 59.5% were Democrats, and 25.5% were Unaffiliated, and only 14.6% were Republicans.
The bond didn’t fail because of a surge of Republican voters in a heavily Democratic city, it failed with Democrats making up a larger share of the electorate than they should based on the registration numbers.
Another thing that the list of voters confirms is that turnout for the referendum would have been higher if it were on a November ballot. Having it as a separate election decreases the number of votes that are cast by regular voters.
Almost half of voters who came out last November 2021 (49.6%) didn’t vote this past January.
This is not because having the election on a separate date means that only informed voters would vote as many informed regular voters missed the election this January.
This includes City Councilman Michael DeFusco whose name does not show up on the list of voters from the school bond election.
Last November, 36% of registered voters came out. In the January election, only 20% of registered voters came out to vote. Turnout was high for a school bond election, but low for a November Hoboken Election.
Based on the large margin that the no vote won by, I doubt that having a higher turnout would have changed the election results.
Lastly, the bond didn’t fail because of a surge of senior citizens showing up to vote no. In November 2021, the median voter was 43 years old. For the January School Bond election, the median voter was 45, an increase of only two years.
There are many conclusions that can be made about the January 2022 school bond electorate by looking at the raw data.
For me the biggest conclusions are that the electorate that voted no with 65% of the vote was more Democratic leaning than usual, about the same age, and that many voters who normally vote in November missed the election because of the timing.