Voting: The Bedrock of our Democracy

Our elections are around the corner, and the New Jersey Division of Elections best describes what you can expect from our voting process: safe, simple and secure 

Our country has one of the safest, fairest and most open election procedures among all the world's democracies. Despite a few naysayers driven by partisan politics, all our citizens can rest assured that their votes are counted fairly and in a timely fashion.

This is particularly important now because New Jersey offers in-person, early voting, which expands the time frame for people to vote. This convenient option runs from Oct. 29 to Nov. 6, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You don't need an appointment. If you have any questions about voting, I urge you to visit

If there are any fundamental actions that citizens take to support our democracy, it is the right to vote. Voting is your contribution to participatory democracy. It keeps us free and gives citizens a path for hearing their views and concerns through the legislators they elect.

I recognize the importance of the voting process, and that is why I have introduced Senate Bill No. 856, which allows for the early canvassing of votes in certain conditions. This would allow county boards of elections to begin canvassing early votes and votes by mail before Election Day. This doesn't undermine election integrity; it restores timeliness and confidence over the process. It empowers voters and gives them influence in how we operate as a nation.

And given the recent unwarranted challenges we have faced regarding voting results, my bill is needed now more than ever.

As I thought about the voting privilege and its importance, I realized that each citizen who votes could take one more small but significant step to bolster our democracy. I'm referring to an effort on your part to take someone to vote if they have special obstacles, for example, they don't drive and might not be particularly ambulatory. Or they might be unsure where they can vote. An even further step is to speak to someone who historically doesn't vote and urge them do so.

These are small, often private acts of thoughtfulness, but combined, they make for a better community and a more democratic country.

That's my take, what's yours?