The Four Big Misconceptions About Voting in a Municipal Election


1. “My Vote doesn’t matter”

This excuse is commonly thrown around in any election. Because there are so many people voting already, what difference will your single vote make? Admittedly, you may fairly believe that is the case for a national election, or even state-wide elections, but that is not the case for local mayoral elections. In the 2010 runoff mayoral election, Eric Jackson lost by three votes. Yes, that is possible on the local level, so it’s very important that everyone goes out to vote on election day because your vote can make a difference!

2. “I don’t support any of these candidates, therefore there’s no reason for me to vote”

There are other reasons to go to the polls than voting for the mayoral or city council candidates. Most local ballots include short questionnaires about current legislative problems and debates. Voting on these referendums will help make your voice heard. Sitting in your living room angry about the current state of Trenton won’t help city officials give the people of the city what they want- you must make your voice heard! Spend time reading about candidates and issues and make the time to vote.

3. “If I vote, I’ll get jury duty”

While it’s true voting can get your name in a pool of potential jurors, odds are you are already in that pool if you are reading this. Many things can get your name in the pool, such as applying for a driver’s license, buying a home, and paying taxes.

4. “Ex-convicts can’t vote”

This is generally false as well, unless you’ve been convicted of a felony. In New Jersey, your voting rights are restored automatically “upon completion of sentence, including prison, parole, and probation.”

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