The New Jersey 2020 election season has been unlike any other. Candidates have only been able to campaign remotely or with social distancing. Voting in the state has shifted almost entirely to mail-in ballots and began in late September. And the U.S Presidential election has been all-consuming for many voters, overshadowing a plethora of important – and in most cases – contested local races.
For those South Orange and Maplewood registered voters (last day to register was October 13) who have not yet submitted their ballots, Village Green is posting its annual general election roundup earlier than usual. The information included here has been previously posted as items have been submitted or reported in order to inform voters as early as possible due to early voting. We plan to update this roundup through Tuesday, October 27, with any late-breaking endorsements or submissions.
HOW TO VOTE
If you have not yet received your mail-in ballot or have questions about how to submit it or cast a provisional ballot in person on election day, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, read our comprehensive voter guidance here. Or call the Essex County Clerk’s Office at (973) 621-4921.
See a video on how to vote your mail-in ballot here:
DROP BOX LOCATIONS
- Maplewood – 1618 Springfield Avenue (Maplewood Police Headquarter/South Orange-Maplewood Municipal Court)
- South Orange – Sloan Street gazebo at the South Orange Train Station
Track your ballot to ensure it was received here.
WHEN WILL WE KNOW THE OUTCOME OF THE ELECTION?
Note: while some NJ counties (including Essex) have already begun counting mail-in ballots, because some ballots won’t be counted until after Nov. 3 (including provisional ballots), the official results might not be known until after Election Night.
“The more people who cast the ballot that was mailed to them, the more likely we are to have completed results sooner,” Alicia D’Alessandro, spokeswoman for the secretary of state told NJ.com. “The more people who vote in person, the longer the ballot counting process will extend beyond Election Day.”
NEW JERSEY ELECTION CONTESTS
- Essex County Clerk
- Essex County Board Commissioners
- U.S. Senate
- New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District
- Maplewood Township Committee — Vic DeLuca (D) and Dean Dafis (D) are running unopposed for two seats on the five-person Maplewood Township Committee
- South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education (see more below)
BALLOT QUESTIONS — There are three public questions on the New Jersey ballot this year. Read this roundup courtesy of NJ Spotlight:
- Public Question #1 asks whether to allow for adult recreational use of marijuana. If approved, marijuana would be taxed and regulated by the state commission that oversees the state’s medical cannabis program.
- Public Question #2 asks whether to extend property-tax deductions to veterans who did not serve in wartime. If approved, veterans — and their widows or widowers — who served during peacetime receive a $250 tax deduction; those who were permanently disabled during peacetime military service receive a full property-tax exemption.
- Public Question #3 asks whether to delay the redrawing of legislative district boundaries if the federal census count of the New Jersey population is delayed. If this is approved, the state would delay the reapportioning of legislative districts for two years anytime the U.S. Census Bureau does not provide data to the state by February 15 of the year after the decennial census.
SOUTH ORANGE-MAPLEWOOD BOARD OF EDUCATION
Five candidates are vying for three open three-year terms on the nine-person South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education, and one candidate is running unopposed to finish out a partial term. The candidates have submitted profiles, answered questionnaires and participated in community forums. Some have also submitted press releases, endorsements and letters of support.
- Susan Bergin
- Deborah Engel
- Melanie Finnern
- Elissa Malespina
- Courtney Winkfield
- Kamal Zubieta (running unopposed to fill final year of a term)
- SOMA Justice/P.A.R.E.S. Scorecard on Race
- SEPAC (Special Education Parents Advisory Committee) Questionnaire
Forums (including audio or video, plus reports):
- South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race
- League of Women Voters/Presidents’ Council of South Orange/Maplewood PTAs/HSAs
- Hilton Neighborhood Association
- Susan Bergin — Elizabeth Baker, Alexis Karteron and Jan Oosting Kaminsky, Marco Hurtado.
- Deborah Engel — Elizabeth Baker, Amy Howlett, Catherine Fisher. Alexandra Carter.
- Melanie Finnern – Judith Wolochow, Madhu Pai.
- Elissa Malespina – Johanna Wright, Janine Bauer, Elena SotoRaspa, Amy Kamen.
- Courtney Winkfield — Elizabeth Baker, Alexis Karteron and Jan Oosting Kaminsky, Marco Hurtado.
- Kamal Zubieta (running unopposed to fill final year of a term) — Elizabeth Baker, Devinka Peiris, Leslie Waller, Fan Winston.