Dear Ridgewood Community,
We believe that strong voter turnout is critical to successful government, whether it be Federal, State, Village, School, or other. Ideally, increasing voter participation at any time of the year is worthwhile; however, it is also important to be cognizant of recent election turnout trends.
In July 2018, when the Ridgewood Village Council voted 3–2 to move the Board of Education (BOE) election from the general election day in November to an off-cycle election day in April, proponents argued that voter turnout in April was just as strong as in November. The facts show otherwise.
Ridgewood has held BOE elections in both April (2013 and before; 2019) and November (2014-2018), with Village Council elections in May. A comparison of participation in April vs. May vs. November is edifying.
FACT #2: Since 2010, participation in Ridgewood local elections has been 49% higher on average in November elections than in off-cycle elections:*
Ridgewood elections held in November have generally garnered significantly higher voter turnouts than those held off-cycle in April and May. If we, as a society, believe in the inherent value of increasing suffrage, a November vote is the obvious choice. We believe that Ridgewood has taken a big step backward by reinstating its April elections and holding on to our outlying May elections.
If we want more people to vote, November is the time to do it.
One Village, One Vote!
Over the coming weeks and months, we will be presenting data to the community about why it makes sense to move our elections to November. Be sure to sign up for emails at www.onevillageonevote.com in order to receive all of the latest information and learn how you can help support this change in our Village. We look forward to connecting with you.
Siobhan Crann Winograd
** Graph represents total ballots cast in the stated election wherever this data is available from the County or Village Clerks. Where this data is not available (BOE candidate elections in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017 – all two-seat elections in which voters could have voted for zero, one, or two candidates), we have used the highest vote-receiver as an estimate for total ballots cast. Of these two-seat elections, only the 2011 election was contested. ^