*Disclaimer: This may be the most straightforward conversation any political campaign will have with you.
Did you know that if you’re registered as unaffiliated you can still vote in the primary election?
In New Jersey our primary elections are “closed,” meaning only registered Democrats and Republicans can vote to nominate a candidate to the general election. (If you need a refresher on the election process, you can check out this blog post for more detail).
So, most folks assume that if they are not a Democrat or Republican they simply cannot vote in the primary. But that’s not true! In fact it’s a very simple process for an unaffiliated voter to vote in the primary election.
“Here’s how it works: An unaffiliated voter can walk into their polling station [on Election Day] and requests a Republican or Democratic ballot and then cast their vote [via provisional ballot].” (Arco, 2021) Walk into your polling place, "Hi, my name is … and I would like to request a Democratic ballot" and you're on your way!
However, there is a consequence to voting this way and we want to be fully transparent about how this process works. After you request your ballot and vote, you are now affiliated with that Party. If you walk in as unaffiliated, request a Democratic ballot and vote, that means you walk out as a registered Democrat. Of course, it’s also just as simple to register again right after you’ve voted to re-affiliate however you’d like.
Now we understand how this might come off: “You want me to change my affiliation just so I can vote for you??” Again, to be perfectly straightforward: yes!
Look, we are up against huge hurdles when it comes to our opponent’s abilities to raise funds, gather data, organize volunteers, etc. We are completely grassroots with no major funders or establishment endorsements. But at the end of the day, no matter how much money we raise or how many volunteers we recruit or how many door hangers we purchase – the most valuable asset in any election is a single vote.
Since Woodbury leans much more Democratic** (nearly 3:1 to Republicans), the primary election is the biggest indicator as to who will actually win the general election. This also means that the primary election – not the general election – is our biggest hurdle to becoming your next Mayor and Council representatives. Unaffiliated voters comprise nearly as many Democrats in the city, and with their votes taking us across the finish line we can make a huge breakthrough in the movement of bringing Woodbury a local government that is more transparent and shows genuine concern in building up our community and economy.
Supporting our campaign is immensely appreciated and volunteering to get across the finish goes such a long way, but nothing is more singularly important than your vote – plain and simple. If you really want to support us in the way that matters most, we ask humbly you change your affiliation, vote for us in the primary, and get us over the biggest hurdle we face to represent your voice in City Hall.
**As of the 2021 general election, there are 3,271 registered Democrats in Woodbury and 1,255 registered Republicans.