If You Observe, You Get the Government You Deserve
Next Tuesday, Nov. 3, is Election Day. After months of ads, campaign speeches, and pledges and positions postulated by candidates, the time has arrived. You will have the right to cast your vote, if you haven’t already, including one for the most important political office in the United States.
The New Jersey Division of Elections succinctly captures what to expect during this election year: Safe. Simple. Secure. You can get all the information you need at the 2020 NJ Voter Portal available at https://nj.gov/state/elections/index.shtml.
They answer many of the questions you might have, including:
- Am I Registered?
- How to Vote?
- How to Track my Ballot?
- Where are the Secure Drop Boxes?
- Are Polling Locations Open?
- Other FAQ’s
The New Jersey Division of Elections has made it reasonably easy and straightforward to vote — in person, mail-in, or dropped off in a ballot box near where you live — except for one potentially overwhelming obstacle: your lack of commitment and follow-through.
It's the one aspect of voting that the state can't force, and the effort is entirely in your hands.
You will note that in this blog, I'm not proposing that you vote for a candidate that I might support. Instead, I urge you to vote for the candidates you feel best represent your political outlook and convictions. It is your right and arguably your duty to cast your ballot.
Until recently, the one distressing fact that I encounter every time I urge New Jerseyans to vote is how we rank (percentage-wise) compared with other countries. In a field of 12, we finished 11th, behind Spain and ahead of Switzerland, according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center.
But I'm heartened by this upcoming election. “This year, early voting exceeded that of many previous midterms, breaking records in multiple states," according to the Pew Research Center. An estimated 40 million Americans cast their vote ahead of Election Day, far surpassing the total early vote count of 27 million in 2014. (This estimate will change as people continue to vote early.) More locally, here in Burlington County, about 40% of the electorate have returned their ballots already; statewide, that number is over 2,000,000 votes cast early.
Despite these positive numbers, do not be complacent. If you haven't voted, please cast your vote.
The coronavirus pandemic has overturned our daily lives and our comfortable routines. To ensure that your vote is counted, I have created a short, two-and- a-half-minute video that explains how to fill out and mail your ballot. Please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3U9h_I4idA.
You can also drop off your ballot at the nearest drop-off box. There are at least 10 boxes in each county.
To ensure that your vote is counted, you can track it at https://www.nj.gov/state/elections/index.shtml by registering for its "Track Your Mail-in Ballot." It takes only a few minutes, and you get tons of emotional security that New Jersey officials counted your vote.
Please fill out the ballot and mail or drop it off. Let our government hear your voice.
That's my take, what's yours?