AP Election Brief | What to expect in New Jersey’s primaries for state legislature

New Jersey voters will cast ballots in 21 primaries for state legislature on Tuesday.

Democrats hold majorities in both chambers – 46-34 in the state Assembly and 25-15 in the state Senate. Without any statewide races on the ballot, turnout is expected to be low.

Two races to watch: the Democratic primary in the 27th Senate District and the Republican primary in the 3rd Senate District.

The 27th District features two longtime Democratic incumbents, Richard Codey and Nia Gill. They were drawn into the same district after the boundaries were redrawn following the 2020 census. Codey is the longest-serving state legislator in New Jersey history, having been elected to the state Assembly in 1973 and the Senate in 1981. Gill was elected to the Assembly in 1993 and the Senate eight years later.

The Republican primary in the 3rd Senate District features incumbent Edward Durr, who shocked New Jersey in 2021 when he defeated Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney. Durr was a political newcomer who drove a furniture delivery truck. He faces GOP Assemblywoman Beth Sawyer, who was his running mate in 2021. New Jersey candidates in the same party typically run together in the general election for state Senate and Assembly seats.

Here’s a look at what to expect on election night:


Polls close at 8 p.m. ET.


New Jersey’s primaries are limited to party members. However, unaffiliated voters can join a party on election day and vote in that party’s primary.

The AP will declare winners in 10 state Senate primaries and 11 Assembly primaries. In the Assembly races, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election.

First results are expected a few minutes after polls close, and election-night updates are expected to wrap up around 1 a.m. In the 2021 general election, 90% of votes were counted by noon the next day.


The AP does not make projections and will only declare a winner when it’s determined there is no scenario that would allow the trailing candidates to close the gap.

Should a candidate declare victory or offer a concession before the AP calls a race, we will cover newsworthy developments in our reporting. In doing so, we will make clear that the AP has not yet declared a winner and explain why.

New Jersey counts a significant number of votes after election day, which could delay race calls in competitive races. In the 2021 governor’s race, the state counted about 10% of votes after election day. Most of the late-counted votes are mail ballots, which can arrive as late as June 12 if they are postmarked by election day. These votes are more likely to impact the outcome of Democratic primaries because Democrats in New Jersey, like Democrats elsewhere, are more likely to vote by mail than Republicans.

The AP may call a race in which the margin between the top two candidates is 0.5% or less, if we determine the lead is too large for a recount and legal challenge to change the outcome. New Jersey doesn’t have automatic recounts. Trailing candidates can request – and pay for – recounts, regardless of the margin between the top candidates.


A: As of April 1, there were 6.5 million registered voters in New Jersey, including 2.5 million Democrats and 1.5 million Republicans. As of Monday, 192,694 Democrats and 59,590 Republicans had cast advance votes. In the 2022 general election, 30% of voters cast their ballots before election day.

With no statewide races on the ballot, the AP doesn’t have a statewide turnout projection.


In the 2022 general election, 90% of votes were counted by noon on the day after the election. The vote count in some counties lasted an additional three weeks.


Follow AP’s coverage of politics and elections at: https://apnews.com/hub/politics


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