Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora blocked a local ordinance that would have moved the capital city’s municipal elections from May to November starting in 2022 Tuesday.
“While I commend City Council’s desire to improve voter participation in the Capital City, we need to take great care before we change the date of our elections, especially considering that this ordinance would extend the current term for our elected officials,” Gusciora said.
The first-term mayor said the council had not done enough to project the costs associated with delaying the city’s elections by six months. The ordinance would have staggered some council races, adding to the elections the capital city was responsible for administering.
He also said any change in the electoral system should be approved by Trentonians.
“Not only do we need more information concerning potential costs of this move and whether it would actually increase voter turnout, this is ultimately a decision that should be approved by our residents via referendum,” he said. “If we are truly serious about increasing participation in our electoral system, then we should not deprive Trentonians the opportunity to be heard in this matter.”
In May, Trenton’s council passed an ordinance that would have asked voters whether the city should move its elections to line up with federal races, but the more recent ordinance scrapped that proposal.
“For the sake of transparency, I believe the issue is too important not to have voter input,” said Mayor Gusciora. “If we do it right, we would have a study commission or an intervening election before we give ourselves six more months in office.”