March 15, 2023

Urging Legislators, Council Members to Support NJ Electoral Reform Bills

To the Editor:

The afternoon of Saturday, March 11 found a good number of New Jersey citizens from all parts of the state (on Zoom and in person) demonstrating their interest in electoral reform in New Jersey by attending Sen. Shirley Turner’s event, “Reducing Election Costs and Assuring Elected Officials are Approved by the Majority of Voters.”

She described two bills, S3546 — “Ending the County Line for N.J.’s Primaries” and S3369 —“Municipal and School Board Voting Options Act.” The first opens New Jersey’s primary ballots to all qualified candidates, ending so-called “ballot Siberia” for those who don’t get the county party organization nod. The second is New Jersey’s bottoms-up way to allow municipalities to use ranked-choice voting in their municipal and/or school board elections. Both are important in increasing voter participation and representation.

The Q&A period reflected the importance the attendees place on their votes being meaningful in New Jersey elections. Both of these changes would make New Jersey elections more democratic by giving each candidate an equal opportunity to receive a majority of votes. Tell your New Jersey legislators and your town Council members to support these reforms, for democracy’s sake.

Susan Colby
Bunn Drive