Saturday, June 13, 2020

Primarily Voting from my Couch

                                         143 Days Until Election Day
Tuesday, November 3, 2020

My mailbox contained an interesting piece of correspondence yesterday, a thick envelope with a mail-in ballot for the New Jersey primary. Every registered voter in the state will receive a mail-in ballot this year because of covid-19. The primary is July 7, delayed from the original June 2 date due to coronavirus. A limited number of voting venues will be open for the convenience of individuals who want to vote in person. Rather than risk standing in line waiting to vote, I will complete the mail-in form and return it in the no-postage-required envelope.

Primaries are usually non-events in New Jersey. By the time primary day rolls around decisions are made, and this year the Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates have been chosen. However my Congressional district offers a noteworthy race.

The Congressman representing New Jersey’s second Congressional district, covering a large territory in the southern part of the state, is Republican and ex-Democrat Jefferson Van Drew, a first-term Congressman. 

Van Drew ran as a Democrat in 2018 and won. One year later he became the only House Democrat to oppose the impeachment of President Trump. In November, 2019, he publicly stated that he would remain a Democrat despite his opposition to impeachment. But in December Van Drew met with Trump and announced he was switching parties. January 7, 2020, he officially changed his party affiliation.

The local Democratic party sprang into action, seeking a candidate who would (hopefully) defeat Van Drew in the 2020 election. Five candidates vie for the nomination, one of whom, Amy Kennedy, is the wife of former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy. He is the son of former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy.

The Congressional district is labeled a pivot district – it went for Obama in 2008 and 2012, but for Trump in 2016. A moderate Republican represented the district for 24 years before retiring. Then-Democrat Van Drew replaced him. The election promises to be a contentious one.

A combative Presidential race...a contentious Congressional contest...a Senate election. New Jersey Senator Corey Booker(D) is running for a second term. Five candidates seek the Republican nomination, but Booker’s reelection is considered secure. 

It is going to be a bumpy campaign season. After an election I normally look forward to a hiatus in political hype and propaganda. Unfortunately whatever the outcome of this year’s Presidential election, I doubt any degree of calm will descend on the political scene. On a positive note, however, maybe by November coronavirus concerns will be history and trips can be planned and travel will be safe once again. It will be time for a politically-free vacation anywhere that is possible.

Meanwhile stay sane, stay well, and enjoy safe forays back into the world.


  1. We vote by mail in Washington state, so I don't need to go to the polls. I don't know if I would do that if we didn't have it, but I'd go if I needed to help Cory Booker get reelected!

  2. I agree. This will not be the year for calm. In any way.

  3. I think voting by mail is sensible considering we are in the middle of a pandemic. So glad I don't live in a state like Georgia where people sat in long lines for hours in the heat waiting to vote and some never got a chance. How stupid is that? I'll be glad when the world is more normal again. Hopefully, right after November.

  4. The people who work as nurses, the people who work as food workers, you know, the working class, the baby boomers abused their entire lives. Good luck boomers! You'll soon be dependent on those same nurses and food workers who you treated like shit. Maybe you boomer's shouldn't have treated working class and poor people like trash. What goes around comes around.

  5. I've been following Cory Booker since his first term as Mayor and was sad when he dropped out of the presidential race, but it's obvious that this year, someone with more experience and name recognition is needed in order to win this race. And for the first time in my life, I'll be voting by mail in ballot. I'm not comfortable with it because I'm not always confident that all those votes get counted. But necessary in this year of social distancing. I saw the long lines in the GA race, people waiting up to 6 hours to vote, and with my bad back, I would not be able to do that.