Letter to the Editor: A move of elections from November to May is voter disenfranchisement, says Mt. Laurel Councilman Steve Steglik

Steglik asks members of the public to call for Republicans on council to leave elections the way they are.

This letter to the editor was submitted to The Sun by Mt. Laurel resident and Mt. Laurel Township Councilman Steve Steglik:

Mayor Kurt Folcher, Deputy Mayor Linda Bobo and Councilman Irwin Edelson have dishonestly promoted an ordinance that would change our 2020 elections to a nonpartisan, expensive, special election in May as an effort to “rise above” the partisan politics of Washington.

However, they understand that this change would result in low voter participation and give them the ability to hide from their party affiliation.

Hide is the emphasized word because while their names will not have “R” next to it, their campaigns will be financed by the Republican Party and their ideologies will still be aligned with President Trump and the Republican Party.

The only difference?

In a year that will be a literal referendum on the last four years, unsuspecting voters won’t know they align with President Trump and the Republican Party.

Furthermore, they know statistically speaking, nonpartisan races see a stark drop-off in participation.

This is voter disenfranchisement as well as a classless demonstration of their lack of courage and confidence in their ability to lead and get elected.

Also, I must state that this is a microcosm of a much larger issue in which the political “old guard” feels as if they can dictate who can and should be able to serve in elected office.

The same political “old guard” that believes they can dictate what a congressperson, senator, or even a councilperson should look like. To put it simply, our council colleagues do not think Councilman Pritchett and I belong there.

Unfortunately for them, they don’t get to make that decision. The voters do. Which is why they want to change the rules of the election.

Our elections have never been an issue before and they shouldn’t be an issue now. I genuinely don’t care if they want me on council or not, but they must and will respect the people’s right to a transparent election.

Please join me in asking Mayor Folcher, Deputy Mayor Bobo and Councilman Edeslon to leave our elections the way they are.

Call Town Hall: (856) 234-0001

Email: council@mountlaurel.com

Attend the next Council Meeting: 7 p.m. on April 22 at the Municipal Court Room, (100 Mt Laurel Rd, Mt Laurel Township, NJ 08054)

Councilman Stephen Steglik