WASHINGTON (AP) — Every seat in New Jersey’s General Assembly is up for grabs in Tuesday’s general election, but with solid Democratic majorities in both chambers, party control of the body is not expected to change hands.
Democrats have a 25-15 advantage in the state Senate and a 46-34 lead in the state Assembly.
Among the notable contests are the races in Legislative Districts 3 and 4 in southern New Jersey.
In District 3, which covers parts of Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties in the southwest, Republicans won the state Senate seat and both state Assembly seats by narrow margins in 2021. This year, state Sen. Edward Durr is running for reelection against Democrat John Burzichelli. For the state Assembly seats, Republican Bethanne McCarthy Patrick is the lone incumbent in the race. The other Republican is Thomas Tedesco. The Democratic challengers are Heather Simmons and Dave Bailey.
District 4, which includes parts of Atlantic, Camden and Gloucester counties, features open-seat races for state Senate and state Assembly. The candidates for state Senate are Democrat Paul Moriarty, Republican Christopher Del Borrello and third-party nominee Giuseppe Costanzo. The candidates for state Assembly are Democrats Dan Hutchison and Cody Miller, Republicans Matthew Walker and Amanda Esposito and third-party hopeful Maureen Dukes Penrose.
The election for New Jersey governor will be held in 2025.
Here’s a look at what to expect on election night:
The general election in New Jersey will be held on Tuesday. Polls close at 8 p.m. ET.
WHAT’S ON THE BALLOT?
The Associated Press will provide coverage for 78 races: 39 for state Senate and 39 for the state Assembly. There are 40 legislative districts in New Jersey. Each district elects one senator and two members of the state Assembly. In the Assembly races, voters can vote for up to two candidates. Although seats are up in all 40 districts, some races are uncontested.
WHO GETS TO VOTE?
Voters registered in New Jersey may participate in the elections held in their districts. The deadline to register was Oct. 17. New Jersey does not allow Election Day registration.
The AP does not make projections and will declare a winner only when it’s determined there is no scenario that would allow the trailing candidates to close the gap. If a race has not been called, the AP will continue to cover any newsworthy developments, such as candidate concessions or declarations of victory. In doing so, the AP will make clear that it has not yet declared a winner and explain why.
In the last two general elections, about 10% of the total votes cast were tabulated after Election Day. This could delay race calls in competitive races. Most of the late-counted votes are mail ballots, which can arrive as late as Nov. 13 if they are postmarked by Election Day. Democrats in New Jersey are more likely to vote by mail than Republicans, as is the case across the country.
New Jersey does not have automatic recounts, but candidates and voters may request and pay for them. The cost of the recount is refunded if the outcome changes.
The AP may declare a winner in a race that is headed for a recount if it can determine the lead is too large for a recount or legal challenge to change the outcome.
WHAT DO TURNOUT AND THE ADVANCE VOTE LOOK LIKE?
As of Wednesday, there were 6.5 million voters registered in New Jersey. Of those, 39% are Democrats, 24% are Republicans and 36% are not affiliated with any party. The registration total in each of the state’s 40 legislative districts ranges from 111,000 to 197,000.
Turnout for the 2021 general election for governor was 40% of registered voters.
As of Wednesday, a total of 420,507 voters from across the state had cast ballots before Election Day, 63% from Democrats, 23% from Republicans and 14% from voters not affiliated with any party.
In both the 2021 and 2022 general elections, 30% of all votes were cast before Election Day.
HOW LONG DOES VOTE COUNTING USUALLY TAKE?
First results are expected a few minutes after polls close, and election night updates are expected to conclude around 1 a.m. ET.
In the 2021 and 2022 general elections, 90% of votes were counted by noon the next day. In 2022, the vote count in some counties lasted an additional three weeks.
AP Decision Desk Editor Stephen Ohlemacher contributed to this report.