Ridgewood recently held its first regularly scheduled Village Council elections since voting overwhelmingly in 2020 to move our local elections from the spring to November. The two biggest reasons for the move were higher voter turnout and lower election-related expenses. How did that pan out in reality?
An estimated 7,441 votes were cast in the November 2022 Village Council election.1 In the November 2021 special election for an unexpired Village Council term, there were 7,035 votes cast, and there were 12,897 votes cast in the One Village One Vote referendum question in November 2020. By comparison, there were fewer than 4,500 votes cast, on average, in off-cycle May Council elections going back to 2010. (Off-cycle April Board of Ed elections saw only around 3,500 votes cast, on average.) And the November elections are funded by Bergen County, so Ridgewood saved tens of thousands of dollars.
In short, November elections allow more of our community to be heard, and they save money. What a win for Ridgewood!
- The Bergen County Clerk’s Office does not release the unique number of ballots cast for specific down-ballot election lines. This figure, 7,441 votes, is our best estimate. It is the sum of the votes received by the highest vote-getter (Evan Weitz, 4,709) and the lowest vote-getter (Jim Van Goor, 2,732).