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Voters In NJ To Decide New Legislature, Sports Betting Referendum

FILE - A voting booth in Fort Lee, NJ (Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

Voting booth in Fort Lee, NJ (credit: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880)

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Jersey voters have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to elect all 120 members of the state Legislature.

Polls opened at 6 a.m.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

The off-year elections end an underwhelming campaign season where only a handful of races are competitive because newly redrawn legislative districts favor incumbents.

Democrats control the Senate 24-16 and the Assembly 47-33.

Republicans aren’t expected to make major gains despite Gov. Chris Christie’s popularity in the polls. Christie says he’d consider the midterm elections a win for the GOP if the party holds the seats it now occupies.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports

Republicans could pick up two seats in the Senate if they upset incumbent Democrats in Bergen and Atlantic counties.

Assembly races in Burlington and Bergen counties are also seen as toss-ups.

Voters statewide will also get to decide if they want to push to legalize gambling on sports.

“For those who are concerned about what I’m going to do, I’m voting ‘yes’ on it,” Christie said this past week. “I think it’s important for New Jersey to have this option and I don’t think it’s fair that it’s restricted to just a few states.”

He said when he told a Giants fan nice win after last week’s game, he says the guy told him the Giants didn’t cover, so he blew his parlay.

But he says he doesn’t thnk anyone’s under the illusion that folks are not placing sports bets in the state.

“So let’s get that economy out from underground,” Christie said.

State Sen. Ray Lesniak wants to make sports betting legal at New Jersey casinos and race tracks.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports 

If that’s the case, Lesniak says there will be billions of dollars bet.

“That equates to hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues for casinos and race tracks and tens of millions of dollars of revenues for the state of New Jersey,” he said.

Lesniak projects that would also mean more than a thousand jobs.

For more information about voting in New Jersey, click here.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)