This week there was a School Board Election in Edison, New Jersey. Edison is one of only 41 School Districts in the State that has their election in April.
As predicted the turnout was quite low. This was a tremendous opportunity for the Orthodox community to come out and vote in large numbers and make their voices heard.
The response was great. In the Orthodox District there was a 23% turnout.
You might say that was pretty low. In a general election you would be correct. However, in a School Board election it was almost 5 times higher than every other District in Edison.
The differential was so stark that the School Board President immediately following the announcement of the results called a leading member of the community congratulating him for the voter turnout and requested a meeting.
“Our vote made the difference in some aspects of this race” said Dr. Israel Rivkin, a major advocate on behalf of the Orthodox Communities of Edison-Highland Park who has been working for many years with the local elected officials.
This is how we can make a difference in off year and school board elections. With such a low turnout, if we can only mobilize our community to vote in every election, even in an uncontested Primary, we will be noticed and that will help us with our advocacy work in Trenton.
We believe that the way to solve the Educational Affordability issue is by voting. That will give us a voice in Trenton and hopefully gain legislative support for initiatives that will help our families better afford and Day Schools better provide reasonably priced tuition.
That is why the OU established NJ VOTES for Tuition Affordability. To educate, coordinate and mobilize the community to vote in every election.
Please don’t forget that the Registration deadline for the June 4th Primary, is May 15th (Shavuos).
If you are not a registered voter, or if you are not affiliated with any party and want to participate, you can do so only if you register before May 13th.
For more information, or to get involved with our NJ VOTES initiative please see our website at www.njvotes.org or call us at 201-416-7740.