As the COVID-19 crisis escalates, further postponement of events have become routine across Hudson County. Now, even some elections are being pushed back to adhere to social distancing efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
The Bayonne City Democratic Organization announced on March 23 that its Executive Committee unanimously voted to postpone all elections for committee people until June 2021. The decision to extend terms of committee people was announced just one week before the March 30 deadline to gather petitions for committee.
The announcement came from Mayor James Davis, who is also the Chairman of the organization.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our community,” Mayor Davis stated. “The decision to extend terms comes after much research, advice and consultation.”
Davis said the city takes the COVID-19 pandemic seriously and will not allow residents to be put in harm’s way.
“This is a commonsense approach to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Davis stated. “I urge all residents to please continue to follow directives put in place by my administration, Governor Murphy, and nationwide.”
Murphy’s Executive Order
Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order 105 temporarily changes certain election procedures and the date of the upcoming elections to protect voters during the crisis.
The executive order says allowing certain upcoming elections to proceed as they were originally planned will create hardships and health risks for voters, poll workers and candidates.
It says election officials require flexibility and sufficient time to adapt the state’s voting infrastructure to the public health and safety risks of the unprecedented pandemic.
The COVID-19 outbreak may have significant effects on New Jersey’s voting systems. Social distancing measures are required for an undetermined duration.
Failing to take proactive action risks disenfranchising countless citizens, according to the executive order.
Although Murphy’s order allows elections to be moved, and internal elections may be postponed a year, the June 2 presidential primary appears set to continue in Bayonne as planned.
Petitions for candidates for the June 2 primary are due by 4 p.m. on March 30.
Murphy’s order allows candidates to submit their petitions electronically in addition to by hand delivery to help limit unnecessary person-to-person contact.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.