SOMERSET, NJ - Next Tuesday, Nov. 5 local residents who vote, will finally have a chance to make their voices heard at the polls. Polls open at 6 am and close at 8 pm.

This year voter turnout may be low, because this is an off-year election. However, if you are reading this article it is more than likely you will be part of the few and proud who will vote, and get a sticker for doing so. 

Voter participation in Franklin was better than the county average during this year's primary according to Somerset County Clerk Steve Peter. Franklin saw 15 percent of its registered Democrats head to the polls vs. 13 percent for Republicans. 

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The ballot

Assembly - Incumbents Assemblyman, Joseph Danielsen (D) and Assemblyman, Joseph V. Egan (D) will face Patricia Badovinac (R) and Maria Conception Powell (R) on election day to represent the 17th District which includes Franklin (Somerset), Milltown, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, and Piscataway. 

County Sheriff - Frank J. Provenzano, is not seeking re-election. Retired Franklin Township Police Lieutenant Darrin Russo (D) will face, North Plainfield Police Chief Bill Parenti (R) to replace Provenzano as the top cop in the county. 

Board of Chosen Freeholders - Incumbent Somerset County Freeholder Deputy Director, Pat Walsh (R), will face Melonie Marano (D). The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders was exclusively Republicans for decades, until Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, swore in Shanel Robinson and Sarah Sooy as the first Democrats in January. 

Municipal - Incumbent, Mayor Phil Kramer (D) will meet challenger Beverly Briggs-Lawson (R) during the November election.

Incumbents, Councilwoman At-Large Kimberly Francois (D), and Councilwoman At-Large Crystal Pruitt (D), and running mate Sivaraman Anbarasan (D) will face Santhosh (Sam) K. Velu (R), Alhaji (Noah) Fofanah (R), and Christina Ganzer-Zambri (R) for the three Council At-Large seats available in November. 

Board of Education -  Incumbents, Nancy LaCorte and Ardaman Singh along with Walter B. Jackson, Jr. and Hugh A. Scott will compete for three seats on the board. LaCorte has served as president, while Singh has been board vice-president.

Getting to know the candidates 

Many candidates have been provided the opportunity to submit free candidate statements directly to TAPinto Franklin/Somerset to speak to voters in their own words. 

TAPinto Franklin/Somerset also attempted to moderate a debate between the candidates but none of the incumbents responded to email request. TAPinto did not receive an invite to a closed debate between the candidates that took place last week at Somerset Run. However, we did cover a county level debate hosted by the League of Women's Voters last month. 

Read here for details: Somerset County Freeholder and Sheriff Candidates Debate Issues 

Read below for latest statements, candidates can submit one more statement before Nov. 2 at midnight:

Phil Kramer (D) - Re-Elect Phil Kramer for Mayor

Beverly Briggs-Lawson (R) - Putting Franklin First

Crystal Pruitt (D) - Being of Service, While Looking to the Future of Franklin: Crystal Pruitt, Democrat for Council-At-Large

Santhosh (Sam) K. Velu (R) - Vote Velu in Column Two

Sivaraman Anbarasan (D) - Forging Ahead with Experience and Integrity: Ram Anbarasan, Democrat for Council-At-Large

Alhaji (Noah) Fofanah (R) - Fofanah for Franklin Council-at-Large

Christina Ganzer-Zambri (R) - One Franklin, One Family

All statements will be published to TAPinto Franklin/Somerset's candidate statement page, TAP here to visit page. 

Polling location information

Make sure you get as informed as you can about each candidate and vote at your polling place which is listed on your sample ballot. If you do not have your sample ballot, you may look up your polling place by clicking here. The Somerset County Clerk's Office has recently extended its hours to take on mail-in ballots

The township recently made the following announcement regarding the changing of polling stations:

ELECTION DISTRICTS 30, 31, 32, 33 & 34

voting has returned to the former Consolata Missions, now the Board of Education Building at 2301 Route 27, Somerset now that the renovations to the building have been completed.  Voting will continue at this location from this time forward. 

ELECTION DISTRICT 9

has been relocated to the former Consolata Missions, now the Board of Education Building at 2301 Route 27, Somerset.  Voting will continue at this location from this time forward.  Voting is no longer at Society Hill II Clubhouse, 111 Fisher Drive, Franklin Park.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Township Clerk’s Office at 732-873-2500 ext. 6208.  All staff in the office will be able to assist you.

Community Involvement 

Members of the community can also get involved in the election process by making their voice heard. Anyone can submit Letters to the Editor at any time up until the day before Election Day. They must be factually accurate and not defamatory.  They must not be anonymous.  The letter writer must submit their phone number with their letter.  The phone number will not be published – it will be used for verification purposes.  Should the letter be deemed inaccurate or defamatory, the letter will not be published and the letter writer will be offered the opportunity to either provide documentation for their claims or to revise their letter accordingly.  Letters should be submitted directly to the site.

If you do not have your sample ballot, you may look up your polling place by clicking here.

Market Your Business through TAPinto Franklin/Somerset!

Have a news tip, or feedback? Email FranklinTownship@tapinto.net or call our tip line 908-279-0303 ext. 257.

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