In early May of this year, the New Jersey Civic Information Consortium announced $990,000 in grants was to be distributed between 22 grantees, one of which is Slice of Culture through Saint Peter’s University.
As the Consortium’s first grant in Hudson County and Jersey City, SOC wants to empower the area’s civic engagement through a series of how-to projects and informational stories targeted towards immigrant families and communities of color.

Hudson County faces another General election this November with Democratic candidates Robert J. Menedez, Bill Pascrell Jr. and Donald M. Payne Jr. running for New Jersey’s 8th, 9th and 10th Congressional District. Hudson County Clerk, E. Jr Maldonado, and Hudson County Sheriff, Frank Schillari, are also up for reelection against Republican candidates Hussain Kolani and Adela Rohena.

“Local politics has the most direct effect on your standard of living and resources. If you’re only voting nationally then you’re only doing half your homework,” said Daishawn Kemp, a 31 year-old Public Servant in Bayonne.

Kemp acknowledges the importance of local elections and how it determines a community’s surroundings – whether it affects mom-and-pop businesses or large conglomerates. 

Bayonne City Hall (Ed Daniels / SoCul Images)

When attempting to talk to a number of Hudson County residents about the elections, many said they couldn’t comment because their limited knowledge about this election, and voter rights issues in general. 

However, a senior at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City shared his thoughts on elections as a whole.

“Ideally, an election should be something important and an informed decision in November should actually have a positive impact, but I don’t really think that is the case,” shared John Lynch, “It makes me feel as though no real significant change will come no matter who I vote for.” 

The Democratic incumbent candidate, Mayor of Harrison James Fife, was quoted by NJ.com, “I’m feeling pretty good, and the people seem to want me to be there. They like the stable leadership that we’ve provided in the last eight years,” said Fife.

Registered voters have a variety of ways in which their ballots can be casted including early voting, in person voting and mail in ballots. Hudson County Early Voting begins Saturday, Oct. 29 until Monday, Nov. 6; Monday – Saturday 10 am – 8 pm, and Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

In person voting at your local polling location begins Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022 until 8:00 p.m. 

There are three ways you can register to vote –  online, by mail and in person.

To register you must be a citizen of the U.S., at least 17 years old (18 to vote) and a resident of the state and county, at least 30 days before the election.

Serving a sentence of incarceration as a result of a conviction of an indictable offense under the laws of this or another state of the United States makes an individual ineligible to register.

Jersey City City Hall (Karina Diaz / Soul Images)

All forms of registration share the same deadline – Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022 (mail in ballots postmarked this day).

To complete the registration form, you need your date of birth, street address and either a current driver’s license or non-driver ID card issued by the New Jersey MVC or your social security card. A signature, either digital or through MVC verification, is required. 

From there, choose your political party and wait for your ballot in the mail or see it at election day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022 to vote in the next election.

We asked Kemp if anyone he knows or works with, understands or feels incline to vote in local elections.

“I would say my colleagues are a bit more aware as they are active in local politics and government,” he said. “And very few of my peers truly pay attention to local issues.”

The Department of State, New Jersey Division of Elections, provides a Polling Place Search on their official NJ state website. Once the street address and zip code is entered, the website indicates the closest polling location, provides its full address, upcoming election dates, voting district information, County election officials and ADA Committee members.

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked on or before November 8th and be received by the county’s Board of Elections on or before November 8th. The USPS Informed Delivery Service tracks your ballot once a profile has been created.

“I am not going to vote for someone just because I like them slightly more than the person they are running against. A politician really needs to convince me that they will stand behind their beliefs in order to earn my vote,” said Lynch.

We reached out to the Hudson County Clerk for comment but got no response after multiple attempts.

Bayonne City Hall (Ed Daniels / SoCul Images)

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