I do realize that we won’t be electing a new president today. I do realize that New Jersey won’t be electing a new governor today either. And I do realize that nobody seems to really care about today’s election.
Here is why I need my fellow 20-somethings to start caring about New Jersey’s local governments and their elections. Here is why I need you to know what the Assembly is, and who your Assembly candidates are, and what Freeholders do. And I need y’all to know this NOW.
It is because these smaller-government representatives have been influencing your daily lives since you took your first breath. They’ve had more direct influence on your lives than George W. Bush and Barack Obama combined. And most of these small-government candidates count on you not showing up to vote today.
Assembly representatives pass state laws, which could mean anything! They could be the reasons as to why none of your roads have been fixed since last winter, or why copper theft is taken so seriously, or maybe they are influencing tuition rates at your public university, or maybe they previously voted for giving your tax money to multi-million dollar corporations. Who knows what all they have done in Trenton to impact your lives, but you should really try to find out!
What about those County Freeholder representatives? Well, they could be the reason as to why you either did or did not have a 4th of July festival this past year, or they could have dismantled your city’s police force, or maybe they have given your township additional funding for public works projects. Who knows what your Freeholders have done to impact your life, but you should really try to find out!
What is a surrogate? Well, that position is at least on my ballot. A surrogate deals with Last Will and Testaments, guardianships, adoptions, and trust funds. I didn’t even know what this position was, and apparently Camden County does not even have one until after today’s election, which is weird and kinda fishy…
And, you may also have the ability to elect a new county sheriff today. This is the one opportunity you have to actually choose who is enforcing the law in your county, so how about you go to the polls and vote for someone?
If you still feel as though you really could care less about going to vote today, I really want to know why. The people who win these elections have been given a stupid amount of power by our society’s unwillingness to show up and press a few buttons, even though the majority of us have been pushing buttons or tapping on apps all day long for the past 364 days. The government cannot be fixed until we fix our own perspectives on citizenship, and a good first step would be by voting today.
Voting today for anyone would be a good first step. And I really do mean anyone. Heck, a write-in vote for Jane Doe is actually much more influential than no vote at all.