Monday, November 05, 2007

Election Day

By now, all registered voters should have received sample ballots.

Before tossing yours out with the glossy campaign mailers, take a look at the sample ballot. On the front is your polling place and the hours when you can vote (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.). You can cast your vote for one senator, two Assembly members and three Union County freeholders. Voters in the 2nd Ward can vote for incumbent Democrat Cory Storch or Republican Deborah Dowe. In the 1st & 4th Ward at-large race, incumbent Democrat Linda Carter is running unopposed.

In the general election, you can vote across party lines. You can pick and choose among the individuals and do not have to vote a slate, although candidates usually want you to vote a whole column.

This year, the League of Women Voters forum, a traditional way to find out where candidates stand on the issues, fell through for lack of candidate response. Some candidates did not respond to newspaper requests for information. Overall, it seems like a quiet, almost lackluster election on the local level.

In the freeholder race, City Council President Rayland Van Blake is running with incumbents Bette Jean Kowalski and Daniel Sullivan. Republican opponents are Patricia Quattrocchi, John Russitano Jr. and Robert Reilly. Adrian O. Mapp, Becky McHugh and George P. O’Grady are running as independents. Voters can select any three of the nine candidates, as they wish.

Plaintalker is not endorsing any candidates. According to the county Board of Elections, there are 18,080 eligible voters in Plainfield for the 2007 general election. One hopes that each voter, whose franchise was won by struggle and even bloodshed, will have enough respect to go to the polls and take part in the electoral process.

Of course, in cities like Plainfield, the last election isn’t over before people are second-guessing the next one. In 2008, the seats currently occupied by 3rd Ward Councilman Don Davis and Citywide at-large Councilman Harold Gibson are up for a vote. And the Republican Party, currently led by Chairwoman Sandy Spector, will have to elect committee candidates and choose a chairperson to serve until June 2010.

As of October 19, there were 8,587 registered Democrats, three Libertarians, 1,045 Republicans, one Conservative Party member and 8,444 unaffiliated voters in Plainfield.

With all these factoids in mind, go vote tomorrow. Plaintalker will report on the results as soon as possible.

--Bernice Paglia


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