Some campaigns begin a year or more before an election. Running a campaign, even for municipal council, may require thousands of dollars and untold hours of volunteer effort. But all is for naught if the voter does not walk that last 100 feet and enter the polling place.
When I first began learning about local politics, I was told about "palm cards," "street money" and free drinks in exchange for voting for a specific candidate. That was 30 years ago, but it may be that some individuals even today would trade their precious right to vote for some token. That's one possible advantage for an unscrupulous candidate.
All candidates need to make sure voters physically show up at the polls. They may have promised to vote, but then forgot about it. The campaigners who play rough will do anything to get people to the polls. Honest candidates need to push equally hard in a legitimate way to get their supporters to the voting booth.
This election is ostensibly about three City Council seats on the local level, but as we have seen in recent weeks, it is also about what kind of governance Plainfielders want. The controversy has been explored not just on the blogs, but on Politicker NJ (click here for the latest story) and in the Courier News.
If you are a registered voter, think about what you want for yourself, your family and your neighborhood and vote accordingly. When the polls close and the people have spoken, make sure your voice was heard.
Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi has announced a new feature in reporting election results this year. At www.ucnj.org/2014-primary you will be able to see results from across Union County. As described in a press release, "The website will report the number of registered voters, ballots cast, the number of districts reporting, and the voter turnout in each election district and municipality. The information will be available in English and Spanish. The data can be viewed in graphs, reporting documents such as excel, and on a map representing all 427 election districts in Union County."