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The War Reignites

I said I wasn’t going to touch the subject of elections again, but a comment made at a Perth Amboy Council Meeting really irked me.

The Perth Amboy Board of Education and the Perth Amboy City Council are at war. The issue: the election date of the BOE.

In past years, there could be several (3-4) separate elections held  in Perth Amboy: April for the Board of Education, May for the Mayor/Council, June for Primary (depending on what year) and the General Election (President, Governor, Senate, Assembly, etc.).

Let’s face facts. The people who are probably loving this when these elections were held separately were the poll clerks.

If these elections were held separately this year, any poll clerk who worked each election would earn over $715 vs. three elections (BOE, City, Primary, & General).

If we have one-stop shop, there’re only two elections this year (Primary & General), any clerk that works both of those polls top off at $400 per poll clerk.

With the election consolidated to one General Election, the City saves over $30,000.

This year alone, if just factor in only the poll clerks, the cost for them alone would be $10,725 for the BOE election.

The calculation would be different for the General Election.

One Councilman remarked that in 2012 there were 57 names on the ballot. My point is: “What’s your point?”

First of all, on the ballot, there were boxes that separated the School Board from the other races. Anybody who physically went to a polling place: what did you see? People holding out huge signs and literature for specific candidates. Most of the literature was bilingual and/or had the candidates’ photo with their ballot position.(Letter & Number) Unless there was some heavy duty photo-shopping going on the candidates should be easily recognized.

Let’s not forget this literature is floated out months before the election is held.

So, when a statement is made that people get so confused by having so many candidates on the ballot, it’s just not flying.

It doesn’t matter to me when the elections are being held. It does make sense that the elections should be held all at one time. Let’s face facts: we make it VERY EASY for people to vote.

If our men and women who are stationed overseas are able to get their ballots in on time, then what’s our complaint? There are people who complain about inclement weather in the colder months as a reason not to get to the polls. Winter is not the only time we have severe weather.

During election time, many candidates headquarters will have signs: Register to Vote Here. Not only that, they offer rides to the polls to those who request it. How much simpler can it be? How many times can you bend over backwards to make it easier?

The books do need to be purged. One way that this could be done is through the public’s help. Have you ever filled out a form to let the Board of Elections know that a relative has relocated out of town or has passed away? My suggestion is the next time you vote, you should make sure that the person’s name that you asked to be removed is not on the books. If it is, please notify the Board of Elections and continue to do so until the situation is rectified.
Hopefully a two-time notification  sent to the Board of Elections about removal of a name should be sufficient. But please no more statements that  dumbs down your constituents. C.M.

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Perth Amboy Calendar

MON. Jan 22
• City Council, Caucus,
4:30 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

WED. Jan 24
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

THURS. Jan 25
• Historic Preservation Commission
7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

MON. Jan 29
• Special Public Meeting, RE: Discussion of Rezoning Ordinance
6 p.m.
City Hall, High St.


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South Amboy Calendar

WED. Jan. 31
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

WED. Feb. 7
• City Council, Business,
6 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

Stay informed! Attend public meetings. All are welcome!