Montclair, NJ – Update: According to Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin – 35,011 is the number of registered voters in Montclair. Durkin says the 37,000+ number includes Essex Fells voters because both had elections yesterday.

“As of now 4,217 ballots cast in Montclair. That does not include one voting district in Montclair and some vote by mails and provisional ballots,” added Durkin on Wednesday afternoon.

It’s not the lowest voter turnout, but it was still mighty low.

Montclair had a historic, first ever vote in a special election for two members to the Board of Education, but Montclair barely showed up to vote. Only 8.67% of Montclair’s registered voters cast a ballot (according to Essex County Clerk website) despite forums and other efforts to educate voters on the candidates running for the two seats.

The two candidates who won according to unofficial results were Melanie Deysher and Phaedra Dunn, two candidates backed by Vote Montclair, a group with a goal to “increase voter participation and engagement,” who was responsible for the movement to an elected Board of Education, something voters chose in November 2021.

Dunn is a licensed clinical social worker who was active in the Montclair PTA. Deysher, also active in the PTA, is an occupational therapist.

“I’m really excited about the election of Melanie Deysher and Phaedra Dunn. I think they will make two outstanding new board members,” said Councilor at Large Peter Yacobellis. “One of the most common refrains I heard from folks was that they were overwhelmed by an abundance of good choices in this election. I think that’s a good thing. And while I’m disappointed that turnout wasn’t higher, this was a one-time special election. Going forward, electing school board members will take place on Election Day in November, which should help both in terms of giving people more time to consider candidates and with the convenience of voting when one would be most likely to vote anyway.”

Yacobellis was the only council member to publicly support an elected BOE for Montclair when the issue went to referendum in 2021.

3 replies on “Unofficial Election Results: Turnout Low in First Ever BOE Election; Deysher and Dunn Win (UPDATE)”

  1. This is what I absolutely love about New Jersey politics…

    The Census informs us Montclair’s population grew to 41,000. Meanwhile, our Registered Voters grew to 37,000. Yes, 37,000. Yes, 90% of our current Total population. And yes, 2 short years ago we had only30,000 Registered Voters available for our Municipal election.

    I hope not to see our Registered Voters count exceed our total population by the November election. That would be a tad too conspicuous.

  2. OK, it was 30,000 Registered Voters 24 months ago. Now it’s 35,000 instead of 37,000. In 24 months we added 5,000 adult voters…and a rent control ordinance.

    OK, make it a little harder. Exceeding the population less likely. But, I think, if we all work together, we have a real shot at getting the number of Registered Voters even with our population.

  3. It’s not just the Census colliding with Montclair’s election board. The United States has a lot of bigger fish to fry than a little thing like local voter fraud. Just for instance, the Native American population in the U.S. grew by a staggering 86.5% between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest U.S. Census – a rate demographers say is impossible to achieve without immigration, and yet unless there was a staggering number of expatriate Native Americans returning to their ancestral homes in the last ten years (who knew?) then someone’s got some ‘splainin’ to do. (Hint: Census officials have a hard time pointing fingers in this day of ethnic hyper-sensitivities, but some demographers think lots of white folks apparently enjoy a bit of embroidery around their heritage, no doubt a fine habit picked up from a certain Senator from Massachusetts).

    They still haven’t figured out over at the CDC whether 975,000 Covid deaths were “from” Covid or “with” Covid (the latter being associated with the ever popular co-morbidity categories), another staggering discrepancy explainable (possibly) by a wrongly applied preposition. And so it goes.

    Folks, these aren’t cable television morons making stuff up. These are serious issues that government is having a hard time ducking. Anyone care to guess what the latest Harris poll results show about “Confidence in Institutions?”

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