New Jersey governor's election and the importance of local elections

Democrat Phil Murphy was elected to office earlier this November, but as reporter Claude Brodesser-Akner shows in the above video, not many people were aware of an election in New Jersey.

This video was filmed in June during the "primaries." Primary elections are conducted for each political party so they can decide who the best candidate from their party is.

Primary elections can be "open" or "closed." Closed primaries mean only people who have registered under a political party can select who will represent their party. New Jersey holds closed primaries.

New Jersey was under the nation's spotlight for this governor's election because New Jersey was one of two states that had a governor's election in 2017, the other being Virginia.

The Democratic Party was nervous that they would not be able to rebound in state and local elections after their defeat in November of 2016 at the presidential level. Both Murphy from New Jersey and Ralph Northam from Virginia won their gubernatorial elections, and both of them are Democrats.

Virginia had the highest voter turnout in 20 years, with 47% of the state's constituents attending the polls. Meanwhile, New Jersey had only a 37% turnout.

Do you think it's important to vote in state and local elections? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!