On Monday, June 7, the Hoffman for Governor 2021 campaign submitted 1,275 signatures to the New Jersey Board of Elections in order to qualify for ballot access in the November 2, 2021 general election. The appointment was, of necessity, scheduled on a weekday. Three of us traveled to Trenton, the Green Party of New Jersey’s (GPNJ’s) Elections Chair, the campaign’s Outreach Coordinator and the candidate herself.
“This would have been a perfect opportunity for a high school student to learn about the process independent candidates must follow to get on the ballot, including such steps as gathering signatures, submitting signatures, having those signatures verified and more,” said Madelyn Hoffman, the Green Party candidate for Governor in 2021. “This is why I support A5666, a bill supported by youth in the Democratic, Republican and Green Parties and introduced into the NJ Assembly by Sterley S. Stanley on May 12, 2021. This bill would allow students to use one excused absence a year for some sort of civic engagement -- whether that be a march, rally, demonstration or a visit to the State Board of Elections in Trenton to gain insight into the electoral process.”
"Growing up I was always told academics is the one thing that can significantly impact my future,” said Shonita Srinivasan, North Jersey Coordinator for the Hoffman/Warburton campaign, “but these past 4 years we saw that the protest of youth, in so many different ways, impacted the elections so much. With the limited reasons for excused absences offered by schools, students struggle to fight for what they believe in without fear of being penalized. I was offered to head to Trenton with Madelyn’s campaign when she turned in her signatures but because the absence wouldn’t be excused, I had to decline.”
“I remember when I ran with Ralph Nader as his vice-presidential running mate in 1996,” continued Hoffman. “He said something that stayed with me for years. He said that our youth tend to grow up corporate, instead of civic, meaning that many are not taught how the system works -- or doesn’t work, for that matter. This bill would give students an opportunity to participate and learn about politics in their home state and beyond. Couple that with lowering the voting age to 16 and you have a recipe for increasing involvement of youth - something that is desperately needed to address the multiple crises we face. This is why representatives from several parties all support A5666.”
For more information, contact Madelyn Hoffman at (973)876-1023 or firstname.lastname@example.org