Let Your Voice Be Heard

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Let Your Voice Be Heard

New Jersey’s voice was not singing to the tone of the rest of the states of America this election as it overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton. So many New Jersey residents are disheartened by Trump’s win since it did not seem like it was possible since Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.

For the first time in eight years, the majority of the voices of New Jersey have not sung the song of the majority of American states. The Presidential race was, however, not the only race on the ballots of New Jersey: Congressional races, County Seat races, Mayor races, Board of Education races, Town Council races, Sheriff races, ballot questions, and some other items also appeared.Those who voted on the entire ballot let their voice heard on these items as well. There were two state wide ballot items, Casino gambling to be allowed in the north and dedicating an extra 3 cents of the diesel tax to the Transportation Trust Fund along with the tax from the sale of petroleum product.

The first ballot question, referring to building casinos in North Jersey, was denied by 2,277,807 votes/ 78% of the vote. The second ballot item was approved by 1,556,708 votes/  54%. The second ballot item was worded poorly, therefore many people may have thought that it was asking if New Jersians wanted to raise taxes. The other state wide race was congressional, since every Representative has a two year term every representative was up for reelection. Only one seat changed though: the hotly contested 5th district. Joshua Gottheimer (D) won 156,863 votes/ 51% of the vote, beating incumbent Scott Garret ®, who got 146,643 votes/ 47% of the vote. That means New Jersey will send 5 Republican Representatives and 7 Democrat Representatives to Washington in January. To get a complete rundown of your local races, visit www.nj.com and search for “local race results.”

We, as the American people, vote on the individuals and direction we want our governments to go in, whether that be the government of the nation, state, county, or municipality. We live in a nation full of governments and laws and therefore, we have a lot to vote on. Our civic duty doesn’t just rest in voting in general, but in being an informed voter. Spending a little time before the election to look at the candidates and issues that you are voting on is an important step in being an informed voter. That doesn’t mean that you need to read up on everything politics to be an “informed” voter.

We must make choices on how we spend our time. Suggestions can go as far as taking your sample ballot, which arrives about a week before election day, and sitting down for about an hour and researching all the candidates and ballot questions on that ballot. When you cast your vote, you are letting your voice be heard and you can be a part of a chorus of voices that brings what you think is best to your community. Let your voice be heard every election day!

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