Home>Campaigns>It’s 6 AM and the polls are open in Holmdel. It’s New Jersey’s 12th Election Day so far this year

It’s 6 AM and the polls are open in Holmdel. It’s New Jersey’s 12th Election Day so far this year

What to watch for: voter turnout on a Tuesday in July

By David Wildstein, July 26 2022 6:00 am

Norman Rockwell, Election Day, 1944. Photo: Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.)

Good morning, New Jersey.  It’s Election Day, again.

So far this year, voters in parts  of the state have already held 11 elections.  Today is the 12th, with possibly another four to go.

Voters in Holmdel will go to the polls today to decide if they want to switch to non-partisan municipal elections with the direct election of a mayor and a change to a Council-Manager form of government.

If approved, Holmdel would reset their local elections on November 8, effectively nullifying the results of the June 7 primary and forcing Mayor Greg Buontempo and two other Township Committee members to seek re-election early.

“Direct election of the mayor puts the decision of who shall be mayor in the hands of the public rather than at the discretion of the Council members,” the Charter Study Commission said in their report.  “Under the Township Committee form of government, the choice of mayor is often done through backroom dealing and influenced by political leaders who live outside of Holmdel.  This approach is not responsive to the people.”

The referendum has gained bi-partisan support and an endorsement from Buontempo, but another faction of the GOP allied with the Monmouth County Republican organization is opposing the measure.

Township Committeeman Rocco Impreveduto, a Republican, said that the July 26 election date was picked to suppress the vote.

Assemblywoman Vicki Flynn (R-Holmdel), a former school board president, is opposing the charter change.  So are State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-Middletown) and Assemblyman Gerald Scharfenberger (D-Middletown).

“The main purpose of establishing the Charter Commission was to destroy political parties in Holmdel, and in particular, the Holmdel Republican Committee,” the three lawmakers said in a letter posted on SaveJersey.  “We will not stand by and allow a small group of people, who struggle with winning local elections in Holmdel and embrace progressive, left-leaning doctrines, to forever alter the direction of a wonderful community in our district.”

Jack Ciattarelli, the Republican candidate for governor in 2021, has urged a no vote on the referendum.

“Holmdel isn’t broken,” Ciattarelli said.  “Please get out to vote and save what’s been working.”

But one of Ciattarelli’s potential 2025 primary opponent, Bill Spadea, is supporting the change in government.

The proposal also establishes an Initiative and Referendum process that would allow voters to propose or repeal ordinances by petition.

The referendum was the recommendation of a Charter Study Commission adopted in May.

Election Days in New Jersey

Norman Rockwell, “Which One?” Undecided Man in Voting Booth, 1944.

Elections in 2022 started on January 25 when nine school districts across the state held special school referendums to approve capital project and improvement spending.  That’s one of four special school board Election Days throughout the year, along with March 8October 4 – the Commissioner of Education approved moving the September election to October this year – and December 13.

There was a special referendum election in Mount Laurel on February 1.

Maywood voters held a February 15 do-over of a November 2021 election for one seat on the borough council that ended in a tie.  Republicans won.

Some municipalities held elections for Fire District Commissioners on Saturday, February 19.

Voters in South Toms River finally held a do-over election on March 15, 2022 for a November 2020 election that resulted in a tie.  Lawsuits and judicial delays have kept one borough council seat empty for more than a year.  Republicans won that contest.

On March 22, there was a do-over election in Old Bridge for a Ward 4 township council seat.  A Superior Court Judge invalidated the results of the November 2021 election, where Democrat Jill DeCaro unseated GOP incumbent Mark Razzoli by 11 votes after ruling  that at least 27 voters who live on Cymbeline Drive received the wrong ballot after election officials entered the wrong wards into the Statewide Voter Registration System.  DeCaro defeated Razzoli in the new election.

While most of New Jersey has shifted their school board elections to November, there were still places in the state that held April 19 school board elections.

Fifteen non-partisan municipal elections were set for May 10, including mayoral races in Newark, Paterson and Bayonne.  Newark held runoffs on June 14 after candidates in three ward council races failed to hit the 50% mark.

Democratic and Republican primary were conducted on June 7 to nominate candidates for Congress, and to county and municipal offices.

The General Election will be on November 8.

In some cases where non-partisan municipal elections are held in November and runoffs are necessitated by a candidate falling short of the 50% mark, runoffs will be held on December 6.

Still unclear is the status of a do-over Republican primary in Howell, where an appellate court inexplicably dribbled a challenge over petitions for the June 7 primary until at least August 1.

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