New Jersey voters go to the polls on October 16, 2013, to vote for the senate seat vacated by the death of five- term Senator Frank Lautenberg, the special election is a source of contention in the Garden State since it is only three weeks before the general election for the governorship of the state.
After Lautenberg’s death, Governor Chris Christie appointed the state’s Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa to fill the seat until the special election between Democrat Cory Booker, the current Mayor of Newark and the Republicans choice; Bogata Mayor Steve Lonegan. Booker is considered by most to be on the far left of liberalism and Lonegan on the far right of conservatism. An interesting battle given the current unrest and conditions of the U.S. Congress.
As I went to the polls this morning, it was a bit surreal trying to figure out who I was going to cast my ballot for, given my current distaste of anything or anyone in Washington politics due to the embarrassing debacle we have witnessed in the last few months, as neither candidate fits my criteria of being worthy of my vote. It was another letdown; a choice of the lesser of two evils as opposed to actually being excited about one particular candidate. A theme that has been re-occurring in politics for far too long. Much to my dismay, I was the only person in the polling center and just told them my name and was allowed to cast my ballot after signing in the book. As I sat at a traffic light on my way home, I looked over at the drug store and thought about how I had to show ID to buy cough medicine over the counter but was just able to vote without giving anything more than my name without any verification of who I really was.
As I entered the booth, there was only one question on the screen, unlike a normal election where you had several offices to elect and a few ballot questions that take a degree in law to understand and decipher, even with it spelled out in layman’s terms. I held my nose as I made my selection, based more on what party I didn’t want to help instead of voting for someone I had confidence in.
A sad commentary on what our government has become.
Booker is ahead in the polls with a comfortable lead, but my gut tells me this is going to be closer then they predict and I would not be surprised if there is an upset. Booker carries a lot of Newark baggage with him, and the label that Pakistan is considered in a poll as being safer then Newark.
Despite who wins when the ballots are counted, the real loser is the New Jersey voter and taxpayer, the ones who had to pay over 12 million dollars in a special election that was not needed in a state that can least afford it. All this for a senator’s seat which is only for one year before we do it all over again. A poor and self- serving decision made by Christie who arguably did not want it to interfere with his own re- election bid and political interests.