People often say that they sit out “off year” elections like this one because they’re not as important as Presidential or gubernatorial elections. This notion is entirely false. Only a handful of us will ever meet the President or require an intervention from the White House. For substantive help, government begins from the bottom up.
It is the level of government closest to you – your mayor, town council, and state senators and assembly members – who decide the best use for the empty lot across the street from your house, how frequently your trash will be collected, and by how much your property taxes will rise. These are the elected officials best equipped to make changes when you can’t get through to the state unemployment office, experience problems at the MVC, or need to raise awareness about an issue that’s important to your community. This is why it’s especially important that we exercise care and concern during “off year” elections –at the very least, that we pay attention to whom we are entrusting with the oath of local office.
All of New Jersey’s 40 legislative districts are up for grabs today. Many municipalities have mayoral and town council races as well. Click here to find your voting location, and visit NJ Spotlight’s voter guide for more information about some of the candidates.
It’s Election Day. Make it count.