On Tuesday, the presidential election will be front and center as the challenger Mitt Romney will be looking to unseat the incumbent Barack Obama. The latest polling shows that nationally the election is too close to call. Rasmussen and Gallup give Romney a one point advantage, however this falls within the poll's margin of error. ABC News/Washington Post, NBC News/ Wall Street Journal, and Pew Research all give the president a slight advantage, with CNN/Opinion Research poll marking the race as a tie. In the end, what will determine this race is voter turnout, plain and simple. Irrespective of all the polling numbers that have broadcasted across our computer and television screens, if people do not go out and vote the pre-election polls are irrelevant.
Despite the nationwide election fervor, there are a number of races taking place in the state of New Jersey that are not getting extensive coverage. There is an important Senate race in New Jersey pitting Democratic Senator Bob Menendez against Republican Joe Kyrillos, and heated House contests in District 7 with Congressman Leonard Lance (R) against Upendra Chivukula (D), District 6 with Frank Pallone (D) against Tea Party backed Anna Little (R), District 3 with Jon Runyan (R) against Shelley Adler (D), and District 9 where veteran Rep. Bill Pascrell (D) faces Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (R).
Also on the NJ Ballot is the "Building our Future" bond referendum, and a constitutional amendment regarding the reduction of judge's pay.
After suffering through the devastating events of Hurricane Sandy, voter turnout in New Jersey may be significantly compromised. The state is making efforts to facilitate the process, however, by allowing voters impacted by the storm to vote by fax and by e-mail. Although, New Jersey is very likely going to vote for Obama, the outcome and its House and Senate races may potentially change the nationwide congressional dynamic for at least the next two years. Be sure to go out and vote as the polls close at 8 PM!
PolicyMic will be covering the 2012 election live from the state of New Jersey. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page.
10:10 - According to the Star Ledger, Bill Pascrell (D) has defeated Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (R) in District 9
9:04 - With two percent of precincts reporting, RealClearPolitics also projects Obama winning with around 57% of the vote.
9:01 - CNN has officially projected President Obama the winner of New Jersey. No real surprise here, but it will take some time for all the votes in NJ to be certified.
8:49 - CNN has officially called the senate election in New Jersey declaring incumbent Senator Robert Menendez the victor.
8:18 - Despite the voting problems, a judge has denied the ACLU's lawsuit to allow New Jersey to use a federal absentee ballot.
8:11 - The incredible volume of e-mail votes is making it extremely difficult for the County Clerks to accurately count them. This experiment with e-mail voting is not boding well at all.
8:04 - CNN exit poll data shows that Obama at 53% and Romney at 45%
8:02 - CNN is unable to make a projection in New Jersey. Considering all the difficulty with voting, this may be a long drawn out process for the Garden State.
7:50 - Heartwarming story. Great citizens we have here.
7:44 - Although some of New Jersey may still be out of power, voters in areas like Morris Plains are turning out in greater numbers.
7:20 - Republicans and Democrats in Monmouth both allege voting problems, but have different reasoning behind it.
6:10 - Innovative solutions to New Jersey's problems post hurricane Sandy. Mobile polling station in South Jersey.
3:17 - Despite problems, Gov. Christie says that voting is running smoothly.
3:12 PM - Deadline for voters voting by e-mail is extended until 8 p.m Friday!
From NJ.com: "New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno has extended the deadline for voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy will be allowed until 8 p.m. Friday.
Across the state, voters have reported that the clerks' offices in their counties have been unable to handle the volume of calls and email requests.
As first reported inpolitickernj.com, Guadagno announced that voters must apply for the ballot by 5 p.m. today/ County election clerks have until noon Friday to respond to application. Voters must then send back their ballot by the Friday night deadline.
Between requests from residents who lost homes or power after the hurricane that whacked the Garden State and the brewing controversy over the MVC voter-registration program that has resulted in many drivers around the state having to prove their residency to judges before being allowed to vote, election offices all over the state have dealt with an unprecedented volume of questions from voters.
Star-Ledger Statehouse reporter Christopher Baxter wrote that the ACLU of New Jersey was preparing to file a petition to allow all displaced NJ voters to cast ballots, even if they missed the original deadline. of 8 p.m. today."
3:08 PM - The ALCU is filing suit over NJ voter problems too!
"You've got people who are trying to utilize this e-mail or fax voting capabilities the state has said they are entitled to," said Alexander Shalom, policy counsel for the ACLU. "The counties are so overwhelmed with these requests, they are not able to reply. People have e-mailed in requests to get ballots and they are not hearing back."
3:01 PM - NJ.com is reporting a number of polling problems. Their twitter feed is full of complaints.
2:45 PM - There have been a number of reports by watchdog agencies about the voting problems in New Jersey. Some have even described the voting situation a "castrophe" as there are reports of e-mail and fax votes bouncing back from the Clerk's office and not being counted.
2:25 PM - Despite the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, voter turnout in New Jersey and New York is still exceptionally high. Glad to see that the tri-state area is able to bounce back from the storm.