This Nov. 7, residents will be able to cast their vote for the New Jersey legislature’s new body of state senators and members of the general assembly. Local elections will be held for local office positions as well.
The focus on voting is usually placed on the presidential elections. There is still a little over a year before that election is underway.
Kelly Goodger, a senior fashion design and merchandising major, said this upcoming state election will definitely impact next year’s presidential election.
“I do think that they’re just as important,” Goodger said. “I think that local is what heavily influences the electoral college and the general feelings that people have in areas that end up being in mass what influences the presidential elections.”
Goodger said a vote is someone’s voice and that there will not be a change if you do not use your right to vote.
“So I think if you do want to create a positive effect or any particular effect, you need to actually exert your power by voting,” Goodger said. “And I think for myself, at least in this election, I’m not as educated on the candidates as I would like to be yet. So that’s something that I would definitely want to look into.”
Montclair State University’s Office of Civic and Voter Engagement hosted a National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) event on Sept. 19. NVRD is an annual and national event to help people register to vote and keep voters civically engaged.
Students were encouraged to stop by the Student Center to register to vote or have registered students pledge to vote this November.
Organizations like the League of Women Voters were there in support of the event and were providing information to students in the Student Center quad.
Warren Rigby, the graduate coordinator for the Office of Civic and Voter Engagement, further explained NVRD’s significance.
“National Voter Registration Day is a nationwide opportunity to get students and regular citizens to vote,” Rigby said. “Campuses across the nation are doing a really big event today throughout the entire United States just really to drive up the importance of why voting is so important.”
The event is held annually in September.
“Since 2012, National Voter Registration Day has celebrated our democracy as a nonpartisan civic holiday,” Rigby said. “Roughly five million voters have successfully registered to vote during this holiday to date which continues to gain momentum every year.”
Younger registered voters usually have low voter turnout during elections.
“The biggest goal of the event was to target the student population because statistically the 18 to 29 age group have been the least likely to register and or vote on either the state or federal levels,” Rigby said.
Some of the incoming freshmen are eligible to vote in this upcoming state election. Rigby said this was a big opportunity for those students who have not already registered because of what the elections will affect.
“Local elections tend to affect students more than any other election because those are the individuals that determine what the budget is going to be and what financial aid might be so we’re trying to have these events on campuses to ensure to spread the vote,” Rigby said.
Shafiuddin Ahmed Mohammed, a graduate computer science major, was at the event registering to vote. Mohammed does not feel like just a number when it comes to voting.
“I feel like I’m important. I feel like a valuable person to vote in the elections,” Mohammed said.
Jeniffer Cuahutitla, a freshman psychology major, was also registering to vote for the first time at NVRD. She knows what issue she aligns with and hopes to elect a candidate who will back it.
“I feel we need more rights for women,” Cuahutitla said. “The whole thing about abortion and how nobody has the right to judge based on the woman’s body, [women] should make their own decisions on what they want to do.”
The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 17. Those eligible to vote can register online, in-person or by mail.