Dear Ridgewood Community:
One aspect of local government that Village residents appreciate is the fact that our Village Council elections are non-partisan, which enables Council members to represent our interests without pressure from major political parties. Preserving the nonpartisan nature of our Council elections is often cited as a reason to maintain off-cycle Village Council municipal elections.
We wholeheartedly agree with the importance of preserving non-partisan municipal elections in Ridgewood.
Fact #5: Consolidating Village Council elections with November general elections does not make them partisan or confusing.
Those opposed to shifting Council election timing frequently claim that November voters tend to vote straight down their political party’s column. They claim that voters either do not know that Council candidates aren’t aligned to a party or do not pause long enough to realize this fact.
In fact, many other communities with non-partisan elections have already solved this issue. For example, Mahwah includes a completely separate section for their non-partisan Board of Education ballot, using an offset table and columns disconnected from partisan races:
With Mahwah as part of Bergen County, our County Clerk already has experience with this type of ballot.
In addition, Cedar Grove, NJ holds both non-partisan Township Council and Board of Education elections during November general elections. They have designed a ballot which completely separates these races from partisan races:
Clearly, there are multiple ways to eliminate any confusion with partisan races.
Consolidating our local elections with the November general elections saves money, increases turnout, and does so without adding confusion or party influence.
One Village, One Vote!
Siobhan Crann Winograd
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.