This year we elect a Mayor, Council-at-large (3), and Board of Education Trustees (3). At least six candidates are vying for the office Mayor Zimmer will vacate in January. Many of these candidates are running with a slate – three people who are running for available council-at-large seats. Council-at-large represents the entire city, not just individual neighborhoods. Two incumbents are running for council-at-large Jim Doyle and David Mello. There are also independent candidates running for council. The same is true for Board of Education; there are two slates of three candidates each, two of whom are incumbents, Sharyn Angley and Peter Biancamano, and an independent candidate.
Here’s where it can be confusing: when you hit the polls you have the opportunity to vote for one candidate for mayor, three for council-at-large, and three for Board of Education. As you travel around town, head to work, and get home at night you are going to see a lot of campaign activity. Many will be wearing buttons, shirts, and signs encouraging you to vote their full team. Running a campaign is an expensive and labor-intensive proposition, so joining forces make sense. Keep that in mind as you vet the candidates.
You are under no obligation to vote for any candidate’s full slate. Like one person running for mayor – great, vote for them! Know someone on another candidate’s slate and think they would do a fantastic job on the council? Fabulous, now find two more council candidates! Maybe you love the folks you met at a campaign’s event or maybe they turned you off – as long as you vote for 3 at large council candidates and 3 for Board of Education you are fulfilling your civic duty and helping our town moved forward. We all lose when the electorate is ill informed and un-engaged.
If you have time to meet the candidates please do so, these folks are taking their time to work for our community. Don’t have time to meet? Visit their website and/or social media presence in order to gain an understanding of what they represent. Talk with your neighbors and friends and look at the mailers that are in your mailbox. Finally, when your sample ballot arrives in the mail take note of your polling place. Jot down the ballot positions of the candidates you plan to vote for – 1 for mayor, 3 for council-at-large, 3 for Board of Education. Finally look at your calendar for November 7 and plan for how/when you will get to the polls.
Polls open from 6 AM until 8 PM. If your day looks busy, you are travelling for work, or you are unable to get to the polls due to health concerns or child/family care obligations request an absentee ballot. They can be requested by mail up to 7 days in advance of the election or by 3 PM in person on 11/7. Ballots have to be received back by 8 PM on 11/7. Call the Hudson County Board of elections at 201-369-3470 opt 6 to request an absentee ballot or visit the website.