Want to vote in the Nov. 4 presidential election?
Then Tuesday, Oct. 14 should be marked on your calendar, because that’s the final day to register to vote in New Jersey.
With Republican Sen. John McCain facing off against Democratic Illinois Sen. Barack Obama amidst an economic decline and an ongoing war in Iraq, the election is expected to draw more voters than any in the past.
Hudson County is typically a Democratic stronghold, with – as of last week – 170,465 residents registered as Democrats and 26,722 as Republicans, a 6 to 1 ratio.
Another 132,706 of the total 329,893 registered did not list a political affiliation.
Since there are 358,884 adults in Hudson County, according to a 2006 U.S. Census estimate, that means 28,991 are not registered to vote.Registration drives
Across Hudson County, there are various voter registration drives taking place up to the deadline date.
Hudson County Community College students at the college’s Jersey City and West New York campuses have registered 236 of their fellow classmates since school opened on Sept. 3.
Christ Hospital in Jersey City has manned a voter registration desk this past Thursday and will do so the next two Thursdays – Oct. 2 and 9.
Supporters of Obama and McCain have been canvassing neighborhoods to register supporters.
Ophelia Morgan, the Director of Student Activities at HCCC, said, “It is an important election. As an institution of higher learning, it is our responsibility to help students understand the process as well as the issues.” The registration process
In order to fill out the New Jersey Voter Registration Application, a voter must be 18 years or older by Nov. 4; a U.S. resident; a resident of NJ and Hudson County 30 days before the election, and not serving a prison sentence or probation because of a felony conviction.
Also, an individual must have a valid driver’s license and/or social security number.
To obtain an application, call the Superintendent of Elections in Hudson County at (201) 795-6555 or get an application from the municipal clerk in your Town Hall.
Or you can go to the following website: http://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/voter-registration-application.html.
The Voter Registration Application can also be mailed to the Superintendent of Elections in Hudson County is at: 595 Newark Ave., third Floor, Room 301, Jersey City, N.J., 07306. Seeking out the unregistered
Jose Arango, head of the Hudson County Republican Party, has been traveling to North Hudson and West Hudson towns to find unregistered voters, especially potential Republicans.
Arango said he has noticed when he has gone out personally to register voters this election year, he has encountered a demographic he has not seen as much in his 30 years in politics.
“There are more women in their 40 to 50s registering than I can remember, with two or three kids,” Arango said. “I think [Republican vice-presidential candidate] Sarah Palin has definitely energized voter registration for Republicans.”
Lorenzo Richardson, an aide to Jersey City Councilwoman Viola Richardson (a relative), has been going door-to-door and canvassing neighborhoods for unregistered voters on weekends since January. He has been doing so in the city’s Ward F, which Councilwoman Richardson represents.
Lorenzo Richardson is an Obama supporter who says registering to vote has taken on “the fierce urgency of now,” as Obama has been known to say in past speeches.
“I’ve seen more enthusiasm from people I have been registering,” Richardson said. “I am not just talking about African-Americans, but people from all walks of life who are not just looking for change but something more radical.”
At Christ Hospital, Teresa Pourkay from the group NJ ACORN and Crystal Desvignes from the Grassroots Institute of New Jersey have signed up over 30 people while manning a voter registration desk on a ground floor hallway of the hospital.
One of the people they registered was downtown Jersey City resident Nicole Thorpe, who had to register again because she has moved several times in the past 10 years. She said she has not voted since former Jersey City mayor Bret Schundler ran for office in Jersey City in 1997. But she said this year is different.
“Economy-wise and the war in Iraq has made it necessary to vote this year,” she said. Comments on this story can be sent to email@example.com