Independent Voters Deserve a Voice

Last month 7.7 percent of New Jersey voters went to the polls to vote in party primaries that were, for the most part, noncompetitive. That was hailed as an increase from the 3 percent that voted four years ago.

Americans are deeply concerned about our country — just look at the level of volunteering and charitable giving in New Jersey and nationally. We care what happens. So why is voter participation so low? Not apathy. It’s a failed political system that lacks transparency, is divisive, controlled by party insiders, and overly reliant on campaign contributions.

We represent the 2.4 million independent voters who were locked out of the primaries. There are more voters registered as unaffiliated in New Jersey than in either of the major political parties. It’s hypocritical to bemoan participation rates when you exclude 40 percent of the registered voters in the state.

As leaders of New Jersey Independent Voters and No Labels New Jersey, we are advocating for the New Jersey Democratic and Republican parties to open the 2020 presidential primaries to all New Jersey independents.

Independents across our state want to participate in the presidential primary process without having to compromise their independence. Our tax dollars pay for these elections, and we deserve to be heard. The parties have the opportunity to broaden the conversation and participation in 2020. It is time for a democracy experiment.

Steve Barratt

No Labels New Jersey

Sue Davies

New Jersey Independent Voters

Who Counts?

Having read the entire article on the upcoming Census 2020 (U.S. 1, July 10), I researched the meaning and need for this important information supplied to our federal government.

The idea that individual persons in this country who are not citizens should be counted in our 2020 census does not add up. The reason we have such a database is to allow our representatives in Washington speak for its taxpayers and allot those needed monies to operate for their communities. We have a stake in the game as citizens as we are sending these same monies to DC and in return, hopefully a good percentage will come back.

How does the non citizen who pays no taxes have the right to a count? For example, my taxes go towards education, municipal and state funds. I contribute a lot of money towards education but the non citizen has their children in our schools, but do not contribute towards this fund. How is this fair?

Let’s be honest. The main reason any politician wants the non citizen to be counted in the census is for political reasons only. And lastly, does anybody object to the question of sex on the census? If that question can be asked, why can’t the question of citizenship be asked?

Kathy Matches

Montgomery

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