Impending State Elections Call for New Voters

This article was originally published in Ramapo News on October 16, 2019.

With the state elections rapidly approaching, the Civic and Community Engagement Center wants to remind everyone to exercise their right to vote!

In November, New Jersey will be having its bi-yearly re-election of the state assembly, and one special election is occurring for the State Senate in the first Legislative District of New Jersey.

It’s important to know what these elected officials represent in order to vote for them. The New Jersey Assembly is the state’s version of the House of Representatives. The Assembly is supposed to reflect the general view of the public, and their term is only two years long. This allows the people to show their satisfaction towards how they’re being governed, as they hold the power to flip assemblymen if they have decided the assembly no longer represents the collective will of the people.

If you have not registered to vote, nor filled out a voter application form, it is incredibly important that you begin the process now, especially if you wish to vote by mail-in ballot. According to New Jersey Election Law, mail-in ballots must be at, not submitted to, the voting center seven days before the election. So, the latest that the letter can arrive is October 30th.

CCEC, in conjunction with the Andrew Goodman Foundation Vote Everywhere Initiative, pushes to help students exercise their rights. They regularly host voter registration drives, where they provide students with voter registration forms and mail-in ballot applications.

In addition, for students who live on campus that are unable to return home, they have mail-in ballot application parties. These are usually co-sponsored with the Women’s Center and the Black Student Union, so keep an eye out. CCEC can also be found in SC-213 where they are able to help with registration at any time.

This vote is especially important to partake in because The Assembly acts in the same way as the House of Representatives, a place of sub-committees for the larger cause.

Different committees are led by different members who specialize within to send bills through and vote within the committee before sending them off to the main Assembly. The Assembly, at large, then votes upon the bill. If it passes, and if the State Senate also votes on the same bill and passes it, it will get sent to the governor’s office.

Voting in all elections, even if it’s something as small as your school board or town mayor, is a big responsibility. It’s your way of making sure your voice is heard within our government. So, November 5th, don’t forget the date, because Election Day is coming fast!