18 drop boxes for vote-by-mail ballots will be stationed around Bergen County

Bergen County ballot drop box

HACKENSACK – By order of Gov. Phil Murphy’s, the November general election will be carried out by mail-in ballot only, and each New Jersey county must have secure ballot drop boxes. The Bergen County Board of Elections will have 18 drop boxes located throughout the county and your vote-by-mail ballots can be deposited in them.

The drop boxes will be outside the following locations:

  • Bergenfield                             198 North Washington Ave (Borough Hall in Rear)
  • Demarest                                 118 Serpentine Road (Borough Hall)
  • Englewood                              2-10 North Van Brunt Street (City Hall)
  • Fair Lawn                               8-01 Fair Lawn Avenue (behind Borough Hall)
  • Fort Lee                                  1355 Inwood Terrace/Anderson Avenue Circular Drive (Fort Lee Community Center)
  • Hackensack                             One Bergen County Plaza (County Administration Building)
  • Hasbrouck Heights                 320 Boulevard (behind Borough Hall)
  • Hillsdale                                  380 Hillsdale Avenue (Borough Hall parking lot)
  • North Arlington                      214 Ridge Road (Borough Hall)
  • Oakland                                  One Municipal Plaza (Borough Hall, across from Library)
  • Old Tappan                             227 Old Tappan Road (Borough Hall)
  • Paramus                                   1 Jockish Square (Borough Hall, outside main entrance)
  • Ramsey                                   30 Wyckoff Avenue (Rear of Library)
  • Ridgefield                               725 Slocum Avenue (Ridgefield Community Center)
  • Ridgewood                             131 North Maple Avenue (Village Hall)
  • Rutherford                              176 Park Avenue (Borough Hall)
  • Teaneck                                   818 Teaneck Road (Municipal Building, North Entrance)
  • Wyckoff                                  340 Franklin Avenue (Municipal Building)

Drop boxes provide a secure and speedy alternative to sending vote-by-mail ballots through the USPS, which has been experiencing delivery delays. The drop boxes were paid for by the State of New Jersey. read more

Government investigates vote suppression back to 2004 and presidential commission proposes protections

Presidential Commission on Elections Report 2014Cuyahoga County Board of Elections’ Deputy Director Pat McDonald offered testimony to the Presidential Commission on Elections on ways that voter registration and voting procedures could be revamped to make voting both easier and more secure. The commission’s findings on “The American Voting Experience” were presented to President Obama in 2014.

Part of a package presented to Congress on 14 December 2004 is the sworn affidavit of Sherole Eaton, a Deputy Director of the Hocking County, Ohio, Board of Elections. She describes the experience of voter machine tampering by Michael, a consulting company employee, who in 2004 entered the Board of Elections office claiming that the computers on which voting results had been stored, needed to be fixed – and proceeded to dismantle both primary and backup computers. The incident happened shortly before a planned recount was due to take place.

Obama registering voters in 1992
AP photo supplied by Obama Presidential Campaign via The Obama Diary

A detail-rich article on systemic vote suppression with numerous supportive references is Eric Zuesse’s How the 2004 Presidential ‘Election’ Was Stolen by George W. Bush published on 25 October 2016. Well worth a read.

2016 Voter Resources: register, get help with voting problems, check out candidates

unidos-app logoiTunes App: #Unidosapp – The Next Generation of American Voters
One-stop app for the Next Generation of American voters to connect with the issues that matter to you in the 2016 presidential election. Find out how to register, vote, and get help with all of your presidential election questions. Get it on iTunes

cada voto cuenta logoCada Voto Cuenta Volunteer sign-up
LatinoJustice’s Nonpartisan Cada Voto Cuenta Election Monitoring Voter Protection Initiative is recruiting bilingual Spanish-speaking legal volunteers in five states.

voting assistance flyerOn Election Day, 4000 CommonCause Election Protection community and lawyer volunteers will be ready to provide on the spot assistance on Election Day to voters everywhere in the US.

Voting hotlines
866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) – English language hotline
888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) – Spanish language hotline
888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) – Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog
1-844-418-1682 – Arabic language hotline

Call hotline numbers to learn where to go and what you need to do in order to vote. Also, report on problems like long lines, faulty voting machines and any other obstructions you encounter while attempting to vote.

Please help spread the word about the hotlines by:

  • Printing out this poster and distributing them in your community – on community bulletin boards, at your place of worship, schools or ask businesses if they will put them in their window.
  • Share this resource on social media!
  • Questions If you have questions about being an Election Protection volunteer check out our FAQ or email Keshia Morris.
  • read more

    To reduce fraud, we need impartial election oversight – immediately

    Rosario Dawson on Young Turks
    Source: The Young Turks

    In a Young Turks interview with Rosario Dawson, Linda Sarsour & political analyst Nomiki Konst, Nomiki tells how Iowa college students at an Iowa college she visited were barred from participating in their local Democratic caucus. At 7pm the doors were closed, excluding 400 students who had patiently waited on line for four hours to select their party’s presidential candidate. The caucus location selected this year was much smaller than previous years’ locations and only a small number of would-be caucusers could be accommodated.

    Is it relevant that the state legislators write the primary rules? That the legislators are heavily influenced by the parties they represent? That the local party chief for that college has endorsed Hillary Clinton and that she also chose this year’s caucus location? That young people – like most college students – have been voting for Bernie Sanders in overwhelming numbers?

    Maybe. What is clear, is that there are substantial election irregularities in our election process this year and nothing significant is being done to correct them. Elections should be redone when massive voter disenfranchisement happens like it did in the recent Brooklyn and Arizona Democratic primaries. But even when chicanery is obvious, no redo has been put on the table anywhere. Is that right?

    In my opinion, there needs to be oversight at the national level of the election process to eliminate fraud; the Voting Rights Act needs to be completely restored; elections need to be redone when substantive wrongdoing is discovered … and Americans need to noisily insist on having a one person, one vote impartial election system – exactly the way our elections are supposed to be.

    Oh yeah, almost forgot! Hat tip to Ivan Wei for finding the interview (he’s a big Young Turks fan) and Ari Wei for telling me about the students’ plight highlighted in it.

    Michelle Alexander says we need revolutionary love but btw Bernie’s great

    revolutionary love
    Source: Religion at University of Alabama

    Michelle Alexander, attorney and celebrated author of The New Jim Crow, wrote a provocative article recently – Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote. This week, she shared a post on Facebook explaining why she’s not going to continue belaboring the Hillary v. Bernie argument. This is a lady who really knows how to elevate important issues above the noise and the point she makes is an excellent one: no matter what happens in the external world of politics, each of us needs to busy ourselves with the hard work of improving society. Ms. Alexander writes:

    This is the last post that I intend to write about the primaries for quite awhile. I am sharing this article because it makes two important points that seem to be lost in all the sensational media coverage of Hillary vs Bernie:

    1) Although Bernie ultimately voted for the 1994 crime bill, he argued strenuously in opposition to it on the floor of Congress, calling it a “punishment bill” and chastised legislators for their obsession with proving their toughness on crime while millions of people were going hungry and sleeping on the streets. He said “let’s not keep putting poor people into jail and disproportionately punishing blacks.” This was around the same time Hillary was calling black children “super-predators” and saying they must be “brought to heel.” Bernie reportedly voted for the 1994 crime bill only because the Violence Against Women Act was attached. I wish he had voted against the bill. But I think it ought to be acknowledged that while our nation was awash in “get tough” mania, Bernie stood up and spoke out against a bill that aimed to escalate the wars on poor communities of color.

    2) Despite all evidence to the contrary, the media still seems to act as though there is some real question whether Bernie has been a steadfast supporter of civil and human rights throughout his life. This article ought to end that debate. Whether or not one agrees with every position Bernie has taken throughout his political career, there is not doubt of his longstanding commitment to civil rights.

    This is my last post about the primaries for awhile because I fear the discussions are too often toxic and unproductive. There is much more that I could say about this election, but the conversation that I most want to have right now doesn’t have to do with Bernie or Hillary. What I most want to talk about is this: What kind of revolution do we think we want and need? And what, exactly, are we willing to do to bring it to life?

    I am grateful that Bernie Sanders has called for a political revolution, and that millions are responding with energy, enthusiasm and a genuine desire to build a movement that will give our nation a chance at having a real democracy where people actually count more than corporate dollars. But the truth is that the political revolution did not begin with Bernie Sanders and it certainly will not end with him – whether or not he is elected. And it’s also true that we need much more than a political revolution; we also need a moral, cultural, and spiritual revolution – an awakening to the dignity and value of each and every one of us no matter who we are, where we came from, or what we’ve done.

    We saw this revolutionary spirit on the streets of Ferguson, Baltimore and beyond when signs were held high saying “Black Lives Matter” even as tear gas flowed. We saw this revolutionary spirit when undocumented students literally risked everything by coming out of the shadows to protest mass deportation. We saw this revolutionary spirit when thousands flooded the streets in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, calling for an end to corporate exploitation and greed – greed that not only caused a global economic crisis but that is driving climate change and threatening life on the planet itself.

    It is this revolutionary spirit – a revolutionary love for all people and for life itself – that will ultimately determine our collective fate. The work of defining and building this revolution will remain exactly the same no matter who is elected president. This is not to say the election doesn’t matter. It matters a great deal. But whether or not a bold and beautiful revolution is born has nothing to do with Bernie, Hillary, Trump or any other candidate. It has everything to do with us – whether we, as a people, decide that we will no longer play politics as usual and will dare to imagine that we can make America what it must become. The odds are against us, for sure, but we are destined to lose in the long run if we never muster the courage to stand up for what we truly believe and build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic nonviolent army of artists, activists, teachers, health care workers, formerly incarcerated people, currently incarcerated people, parents, students, elderly people, academics, hourly workers, health care workers, and everyone of conscience who is willing to bring an end to the politics of punitiveness and division, and birth a new America. read more

    Many excellent reasons young people like Bernie much more than Hillary

    The Youth Vote Matters
    Grfx source: whatkidscando.org

    My answer to friend Bryan Alexander‘s question to friends earned me the top spot in his Facebook post list for 2016. He asked: “Here’s a question for readers of any political stripe. Why is Bernie Sanders winning much more of the youth vote, as compared to Hillary Clinton?”

    My response. I’ve got 2 millennials at home, both social/environmental justice champions. They love Bernie for a plethora of reasons:

    He explains how political and financial systems work, and they want to know.

    Bernie fights like a motherfucker for decency and the rights of the poor and middle class – in other words, human beings. And my sons think this is the best characteristic and passion any politician can possibly have.

    Bernie is sensible, honest and loyal to his constituents, all qualities my children admire. Vermonters like guns, so he isn’t against them – but he’s against assault weapons sales and is for responsible gun ownership and background checks.

    Bernie stands up to old money, big money and corporatized interests. It’s a dirty job, but somebody really needs to do it. My children stand with Bernie because those interests oppose their own interests.

    Bernie’s democratic socialist values resonate with my boys. Of course we should have government funded universal healthcare – every major country does. Ditto for higher education.

    My sons have a vague idea that what the poor and lower middle class are living today is some kind of pimped up slavery, and it seems massively wrong to them. They get the sense that Sanders will fight to bring more fairness into society.

    Banks are completely f-ed up. They need to be much, much, much better controlled and Bernie seems to understand what strategies can be brought into play to make this happen. My guys like this.

    Bernie won big points with my sons for walking off the stage in response to the overwhelming, nasty viciousness of white liberals who lost every iota of their veneer of pretend sympathy or empathy with minority communities at that Seattle event when the crowd went nuts because #BlackLivesMatter activists wouldn’t get off Bernie’s stage. My boys totally appreciated Bernie’s gesture – which by the way they perceived as being also a kind of punishment to the white audience for being so extremely freaking selfish and nasty.

    Sanders is practical. He obviously loved his seedy, wild-haired look but appreciated the need to spiffy up his image if he wanted to be a presidential contender, and he did.

    Sanders is brave. It’s not easy to run for president and if he wins, he will never have a personal life again. Like Obama, Sanders is running for the people, and my sons appreciate this greatly. They know the world is running to hell in a hand basket and that if courageous souls like Obama, Sanders and Elizabeth Warren don’t step up to the plate to lead The People in attaining protection from political conservatives – including HRC – that their world is going to be sooooo messed up.

    Bernie represents Vermont – small farmers, raw milk, cheddar cheese, maple syrup. That’s cool.

    His campaign is well managed.

    His appeal grows and grows despite everything Hillary throws at Sanders.

    He does what he says. Promised autobiographies for any sized donations and actually sent their mom a book for her $1 donation.

    Sanders represent my sons’ political and social interests and opinions.

    Sanders seems to be the single politician in the field of presidential candidates who understands how crucial it is to take care of our world and environment right now.

    There are probably more pro points, but this is a good list.

    On the other hand, Hillary is manipulative. She gets support from prison privatizers. Doesn’t want America’s minimum wage to be at living wage level. Her husband and Joe Biden – and herself – are the people who set in motion everything that ended up with about 1% of America being in jail today. Her dang hair looks like a helmet. She wears a condescending grin in every darn debate and speaks in a superior tone of voice to Sanders and O’Malley. She has unfairly used her klout to make sure debates are held at times that are disadvantageous to Sanders – and to make sure Sanders didn’t get any media coverage. Ignored women until it became politically smart to be known as a woman’s champion. Is in bed with all the bankers. Is completely out of touch with average American’s needs and appears not to give a s•••. Seems to think that she should be elected on the strength of representing the old guard and isn’t aware enough of reality and The People’s needs to realize that young people have grown to understand what the old guard represents – and they know they don’t want to live under its thumb anymore.

    PS, my sons couldn’t give 2 figs about HRC’s email “scandal” and think its just a GOP ruse to discredit the Democratic candidates.

    PPS my sons think that Hillary’s constant fearmongering is disgusting and shows how aligned she is with Republican values and tactics.

    PPPS My sons recognize that Hillary’s a foreign country specialist – after all, she takes advantage of every little opportunity to rub that in everyone’s face. But they think it’s high time to take care of things on the home front – and this is more important than focusing on all the other countries’ domestic issues while our society falls apart.

    Take back America: Boycott abusers and elect community-minded politicians

    Uncle Sam & Rosie support Obama
    Source Beverly & Pack on Twitter: Patriotic Uncle Sam & Rosie the Riveter support Barack Obama as the next president of the USA

    With money comes power, and some have plenty of money, so watch out America: the Koch Brothers wealth increased by $12B in 2014. They’re after your food stamps and other nutrition programs. They want Obamacare dismantled … and same for the United States Post Office, Social Security and housing assistance programs. They want prison populations increased and public education, gone forever. They want to house our parents and grandparents in homes where they decide what food and care they will get. They want to own our food systems and determine how well we eat. They don’t even want us growing our own food, unless they sell us the seeds.

    The uniting thread here is privatization. The Koch Brothers, the Walton Family (that owns Walmart) and their colleagues in ALEC want America to experience the type of crushing poverty portrayed by Dickens in Victorian England.

    Your first defense against these monsters: vote out politicians loyal to their interests and vote in politicians who are community minded, accountable and responsive to the needs of the people they serve. That’s us. No excuses about why you don’t want to vote, don’t need to vote or won’t vote because your vote doesn’t count! It most certainly does count.

    Giving up your vote is the same as giving 2 votes to the people who want to make you suffer: when an abuser-aligned voter casts a vote – and you did not balance out the election results with your own – you just gave the abuse voter double power. To achieve a more equitable and just society, you must vote. Raise your voice and exercise your right and power as a citizen of democracy.

    Second line of defense: boycott the abusers. The sad truth is that a lot of the super-rich’s wealth comes from selling us toilet paper, cleaning products and other essential items. The items are essential, but we don’t need to buy it from people who use our own money against us. Learn what products the abusers’ companies make – and don’t buy them. Ever. Once they get their hands on your money, it will be used against you in every possible way.

    When voters don’t vote do falling trees make sounds in the forest?

    graphic: two thirds don't vote
    Art by Nick Anderson for Houston Chronicle 11-04-14

    I don’t know why people tie themselves into pretzels over this: it’s simple math. Two thirds (2/3) of eligible voters don’t vote. If only 1 in 3 people votes, it is true that 1 person will be making decisions for him/herself – plus for the other 2 people who didn’t vote.

    There is nothing noble about voting, but it is a pretty sure-fired way to show your elected official that you are willing to show up at the polls. This sends a clear message that you can vote him/her out of office – which is their job – if s/he doesn’t represent you well.

    This means that YOU have the power to fire politicians who refuse to be accountable to you and your wishes. And we all know that nobody wants to get fired so imagine the power in your poll-button-pushing fingertips.

    Democracy is not a spectator sport - go voteAccountability means representing you authentically as constituent representatives, and you must do your job as a democratic citizen in order to make this possible. You must express your opinions, preferences and interests to your elected officials and then hold them responsible for doing their job as by representing what you want, and what is good for you. As opposed to representing their own interests, or the interests of big companies or powerful people who want them to do things that are not good for you or other constituents.

    This requires a bit of work on your part, but that’s what democracy is all about. And you do believe in democracy, don’t you?

    In conclusion:

    #1 How in God’s name can you get social change going in a democracy without people voting?
    #2 You need to vote.
    #3 That’s it.

    If you’re looking for the relationship between voting and felled trees, it is this: not voting makes as much sense as asking the question of whether a tree makes a sound when it falls in the forest if no one is there to hear it fall. Actually, who cares and what difference does it make? This is nonsense, don’t waste your time thinking about it. Go vote.

    Want to make sure you’re still registered to vote?

    Craig Newmark wants you to voteCraig Newmark (Craigslist) wants to make sure you can vote and reminds us, “In 2008, 6 million Americans didn’t vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register!

    Do you know that if you did not vote in two consecutive federal elections, your name is removed from the voter registration roll? Thousands of voters are not registered and don’t even know it. But learning your voter registration status is this simple: Visit CanIVote.org and select ‘Am I Registered?’

    Not registered? No problem. Residents of any state can remedy this problem by visiting registertovote.org or stop by an elected official’s office and fill out a voter registration form. New Jersey residents can also visit their County Clerk‘s Office or Election Board.

    All New Jersey residents can now also Vote by Mail (used to be called absentee voting) just by filling out a simple one-page application to receive your ballot through the mail. If you’re busy, homebound or just feel like doing it, fill out a Vote by Mail application to get an early voting ballot mailed to you via USPS at any address you specify. Just fill the ballot out and pop it back into the mail at your convenience. It will count just the same as an in-person vote does.

    The deadline for registering to vote in the 2015 New Jersey primary elections is May 12.

    Please note:

    • The voter registration deadline to vote in New Jersey primary elections is May 12, 2015.
    • Overseas service men and women can get help with voting and registration issues at FVAP.gov
    • Please note that if you’ve moved, you need to notify the election board of your change of address, which in New Jersey is done on the voter registration form.

    Democratic citizens have obligations, not just rights

    dismantle corporate powerI don’t know why this important US Department of State document is housed on a Taiwanese website. but I like how it lays out the Citizen Responsibilities in a Democracy. Some of the juicier exerpts are:

    Citizenship in a democracy requires participation, civility, and even patience.

    Democratic citizens recognize that they not only have rights, they have responsibilities. They recognize that democracy requires an investment of time and hard work — a government of the people demands constant vigilance and support by the people.

    …Democratic citizens know that they must bear the burden of responsibility for their society if they are to benefit from its protection of their rights.

    There is a saying in free societies: you get the government you deserve. For democracy to succeed, citizens must be active, not passive, because they know that the success or failure of the government is their responsibility, and no one else’s. In turn, government officials understand that all citizens should be treated equally and that bribery has no place in a democratic government.

    …Democracies need more than an occasional vote from their citizens to remain healthy. They need the steady attention, time, and commitment of large numbers of their citizens who, in turn, look to the government to protect their rights and freedoms. read more

    A Dem vote is a vote for President Obama

    Buono for GovernorEveryone knows I have the best Facebook friends. Today, one of them wrote a few true and important words about the upcoming election – so, I hope you’re paying attention! Cynthia Oneday Flood says:


    Evelyn Concepcion adds,

    I do not think people understand the magnitude of this election. I have been watching it since day one. Governor Christie has allied with some Democrats just so they can get both the house and Senate. He is aligning himself for the Presidential run in 2016. He does not truly care about bi partisan alies to help the people of New Jersey. He will use them and throw them to the side once this election is over. The true issue is that the working poor, our veterans, our seniors, our children and our people will suffer even more should he be re- elected. We MUST vote Democracts in. Barbara Buono must and should be our next Governor. We must deliver on our Promise to our President.we need Democract in both the house and Senate. We need a Democract as Governor. All those Democracts who left their political party to support Republicans must be voted out. we have enough Democracts in New Jersey to vote them out. You have to vote Nov 5, 2013. read more

    New Jersey Voter Resources & Rights

    Voting Rights


    Voting Rights in New Jersey

  • Brennan Center for Justice Student Voting Guide
  • Voter’s Rights Handbook published by New Jersey State.
  • League of Women Voter’s New Jersey Voter and Election Guide
  • ACLU Know Your Voting Rights Voting Information and Voting Rights
  • Identification Request: if you’re a first-time voter you may be asked for identification.

    Most New Jersey voters do not need to show ID when voting. However, if you are a first-time New Jersey voter who registered by mail, and election officials could not verify your identifying numbers (your New Jersey driver’s license or ID number or the last four digits of your Social Security number), you will have to provide proof of identification, either at the polls or anytime before Election Day.

    Sufficient proof of identity includes any current and valid photo ID, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, car registration, non-photo driver’s license, rent receipt, sample ballot, utility bill (including cell phone and student housing bills), or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.
    Brennan Center for Justice

    read more