Hundreds of New Voters Register in the Princetons
Almost 800 residents from the two Princetons have registered to vote in the last several months, with more than 60 percent of the new voters in Princeton Borough coming from the district that includes Princeton University students.
According to data from the Mercer County Board of Elections office, a total of 434 people registered to become borough voters between June 7 and today. Of that total, 265 are from District 1, the district that includes university students.
More than 300 of the new borough voters registered as unaffiliated, while almost are 90 registered as Democrats and almost 30 are registered as Republicans.
While the borough population is much smaller than Princeton Township, new Borough voter registrations out-numbered new voter registrations for Princeton Township.
In Princeton Township, 349 people registered to vote between June and today, with the largest number of new voters coming from District 12, with 116 new voters.
In the township, 238 new voters identified themselves as unaffiliated, while 87 residents registered as Democrats and 23 residents registered as Republicans.
It will be a shame if Princeton University students cast the decisive votes on the consolidation question. They are temporary members of our community, have little or no sense of our history and concerns, and will be long gone when our permanent residents have to face the consequences of the consolidation vote.
Those responsible for registering University students and aggressively soliciting their votes demonstrate an utter lack of scruples.
Republican Candidate for Borough Council
The University students represent 40% of the constituents in the Borough. To remark that any constituent doesn’t deserve a voice in any election demonstrates an utter lack of patriotism.
It is a little surprising to hear a candidate suggest that we discourage a certain portion of the population from exercising their right to vote. Students are members of the community and by voting their interests, they’re voting for themselves, their institution and for future students. Not much different than voting for one’s party or for the sake of future generations. When I was attending an out-of-state college, I registered and voted in local elections as a student and I remember there was also townie hostility to student voters because we weren’t “real” residents. I ended up living in that town after graduation and stayed in the same state and county until I moved to NJ, just as I’m sure some PU grads do and will. I’ve only lived in Princeton for 3 years. Some students have lived here longer than I have. Should I not vote? Any registered voter could decide to move away on Wed, should they not get a vote? Should there be a little checkbox on the registration form that says you agree to live here the rest of your life? The “permanent resident” logic just doesn’t hold up.
To suggest that someone lacks scruples for exercising their constitutional right to organize and to vote and to share in the governance of the town in which they live shows a remarkable disdain for our democracy. Perhaps the right to vote should come subject to a ten year residency clause? Or perhaps one should have to pass a test of knowledge regarding local landmarks. Or perhaps prove a direct lineage to a founding father of the town. Mr. Marks, it is not such a far step from your position to deny the vote to blacks or women or those with low IQ’s. Move to Syria.
To suggest that students have the same claim to representation as residents is naive. Mr. Fritz is the reason our political dialogue has degenerated to absurdity, and Mr. Bauser doesn’t actually say anything meaningful; he throws out a set of rhetorical questions and postures that as political analysis. As for Butz Club, I quote Samuel Johnson’s 1775 aphorism that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Not everyone who lives in a jurisdiction is, ipso facto, a “constituent.” The definition of a constituent is a resident with the legal right to elect representation; the definition of a “resident” is to dwell permanently or continuously. College students in dorms do not reside permanently or continuously. I now expect, as is common with the lesser minds, that I will be personally attacked by Fritz, Bauser, and Butz who will claim that I am anti-small-d-democratic, unpatriotic, and elitist. But the fact remains, that students do not have a permanent interest in the locale of their college. The fact that Bauser voted as a student affords him a pat on the head; nothing else.
Thanks the pat on the head, Vance. I try to do my best, but apparently I wasn’t clear. I’m not suggesting students have the same claim to representation as residents, I’m asserting that they do, by law, have the same claim. There simply is no rebuttal to this simple, undeniable fact which has been upheld by the state supreme court. They also have the ability to impact the direction of local government. The student vote was nearly enough to elect a Republican mayor in Princeton and no doubt played heavily in the pro-consolidation margin. Perhaps in the next election, Mr. Marks would be wiser to court the student vote as Jill Jachera did instead of off-handedly dismissing a large number of his potential constituents.
Mr. Bauser: I appreciate your civil reply (not being facetious), and I now better understand your position. But, why do you presume that the students voted overwhelmingly Republican? I don’t know how they split, but I’m reluctant to attribute Jill’s excellent showing (I’m a Dem by the way, and I voted for he) to students, but rather to her very well-run campaign and her alignment with the overwhelmingly supported consolidation referendum. Than and Yina can’t string a coherent sentence together, and has a reputation for being difficult with which to work. Not for nothing, but I’d have much preferred if Jill had won; Yina is simply not up to the task. Luckily, she’s only in for a year. And I apologize for calling you a “lesser mind.” Obviously, that’s not the case, if for not other reason that your suggestion that local Republicans court the student vote, which is really a good strategy for them.
Admittedly, no one knows how the students voted. It seems logical based on Jill’s active campaigning on campus, support from student groups, and the student paper endorsement, that she had some measure of support from the university population. Jill also supported consolidation which is probably more favorable to supporters of the arts and transit neighborhood and new dinky station. Looking at town/gown relations over the last several years, especially with the borough, I’m sure the university will be pleased to have only one municipal body to deal with. It’s hard to imagine that students registered in large numbers and flocked to the polls to support a candidate who ignored them or vote against a referendum that would most likely continue to inhibit the goal’s of their institution. That said, I don’t know the voter turnout in that part of town, so maybe students didn’t vote at all. Also, Yina didn’t really seem to campaign anywhere, perhaps assuming that being a Dem was all that was needed to be elected in Princeton.
I believe Princeton University students are Borough District 1. The tally that I saw last night was 43 for Moore, 51 for Jachera. For comparison, in 2010 there were 1996 registered voters in District 1 and 98 votes cast.
Well, there goes that theory. Based on those numbers, it would seem Mr. Marks had little to be concerned about, at least in regards to consolidation.
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