During the last town council’s online meeting I spoke during public comment about a few important issues. 

One I feel is of utmost importance and urgency was my request to the council, mayor and borough administration to ask for our own secure ballot drop box to be installed in time for the general election. I informed everyone that as of last week, there were only five secure ballot drop boxes throughout Passaic County: Clifton’s Municipal Building, Passaic’s Municipal Building, Ringwood’s Municipal Building, Wayne’s Municipal Building and the County of Passaic Administration Building in Paterson. Here is the link to their addresses and locations.

https://www.passaiccountynj.org/government/boards_committees_and_commissions/board_of_elections/index.php

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I was shocked by this and hope everyone else on the call was as well. My request would require the council, mayor and administration to directly communicate with the Passaic County Clerk’s office. I asked them to do so and was told that they would make the attempt. It is my hope that they will have something to report by the next council meeting.

I support all pathways and access to voting. I myself understand and feel disheartened by in-person voting being reduced to a paper provisional ballot but there are ongoing safety and health risks due to COVID-19. We wouldn’t want to put the mostly senior poll workers at risk. I also understand the concerns of some voters that they are limited by having to vote by mail. Most people will feel inconvenienced by having to track down one of these scattered, secure ballot boxes.

We will be allowed to drop off the ballot at the polling location, but the Passaic County Clerk has not finalized how many locations will be open on Election Day. During the recent primary, there was only one location in Hawthorne. Here is the clerk’s latest update as of August 18, 2020:

https://nixle.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/pub_media/user38001-1597771500-media1

The only other reasonable and sensible option I see is to install one of these right here in Hawthorne and in every town ahead of the general election. Please join me if you agree and reach out to the mayor at, 973-427-1168. Call the Passaic County Clerk's office, 973-881-4127, and demand Hawthorne have its own secure ballot box installed. Let’s put partisan lines aside and allow for democracy to occur. Everyone ought to have easier access for casting their ballots! More information can be found on the evolving election process and upcoming sample ballots at this link:

https://www.passaiccountynj.org/government/elected_and_appointed_officials/passaic_county_clerk/elections_division.php

The Passaic County Clerk's office can be reached at (973) 225-3632. 

The Passaic County Board of Elections

Ken Hirmann, Office Administrator

401 Grant Street, Room 123

Paterson, NJ 07505 - Phone (973) 881-4780 - Fax (973) 523-9121 - Election Day Phone (973) 569-2181

Craig Cayetano represents Hawthorne as the Green Party Council Candidate in Ward 3 for 2020