With the New Jersey State Primary Election just two weeks away, the Orthodox Union’s NJVOTES office is hard at work. The key to increasing voter turnout is not simple, but after campaign analysis these past six months, NJVOTES staff believe that community outreach and person-to-person contact will do the trick. Across the state, rabbis, school administrators, and lay leaders have enthusiastically embraced the responsibility of impressing upon their communities the importance of voting in this election. OU-NJVOTES professionals continue to travel up and down the New Jersey Turnpike, from Cherry Hill down south, to Englewood up north, educating community leaders and members about how voting and political engagement can benefit local Jewish schools in very tangible ways.
At a legislative breakfast at the Young Israel of East Brunswick, co-sponsored by the Orthodox Union, Assemblyman Peter Barnes (D-18) mentioned that the Orthodox Jewish community in Edison, NJ, comes out to the polls in stellar numbers. (Kudos, Edison!) This statement was incredible proof that legislators DO know who is voting and that they make it their job to know which areas, populations, groups, etc. come out to the polls and are engaged. The goal will be for all legislators to appreciate voter turnout in Jewish communities across the state.
In May, groups came together in Teaneck, Highland Park, and in Deal to address the issue of community voter registration. With the guidance of OU-NJVOTES professionals, community volunteers devised strategies to ensure all fellow synagogue members were registered to vote by the May 14th deadline. They cross-referenced shul lists with public record voter databases and targeted unregistered friends and neighbors.
Now that the registration deadline has passed, professionals and volunteers will implement the next stage of the plan. Phone banking and door-knocking have proven successful in Getting Out the Vote and we are currently coordinating these activities. Synagogues and schools will intensify their messaging about the importance of voting in the upcoming June 4th primary. We strongly encourage all community members to go out to the polls!
If you are interested in helping the Get Out the Vote effort in your community, please call 201-416-7740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We still need volunteers to drive senior citizens to vote, make phone calls, and knock on doors.