A lot of us are old enough to remember when “hanging chad” was a thing. Not a good thing. We were subjected daily to photos and news footage of people using magnifying glasses to stare at paper ballots.
The year was 2000, and the leadership of the free world was at stake. George W. Bush vs. Al Gore. The race came down to Florida, and then there were, well, issues, when only a few hundred votes separated the candidates. Eventually, after the U.S. Supreme Court got involved, Bush, as you know, was declared the winner.
We bring this up today not to rekindle bad memories but to point out that Oct. 15 is the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 5 general election and, as you can see, every vote at times really does count.
Search the internet for “close elections” and you’ll see many elections that were hotly contested, some to the point where a tie was declared and the eventual winner’s name pulled out of a hat. That’s not ideal.
This year, in addition to all 80 seats in the General Assembly, a number of local contests are on the ballot across New Jersey. A lot is on the line, both locally and nationally, and the contests might be closer than one expects.
That’s why registering to vote is important. Also, it’s easy to do. Downloadable forms are online. Government offices – whose telephone numbers and websites also are online – stand ready to answer your questions and help you through the process. If you’re unsure how to register, or you need information about voting by mail or something else, reach out to your county clerk, superintendent of elections or board of elections.
Just do it quickly. The proper forms need to be in the proper hands soon.
After that, learn all you can about the issues and candidates, and then show up at the polls on Nov. 5.
Don’t leave these elections to chance.