Tuesday, November 8th, was Election Day across America with Senate, Congressional, and local seats up for grabs in many states. Here in New Jersey, residents across the state were voting in the general election for 1 of the 12 Congressional seats for the U.S. House of Representatives. New Jersey is split up into 12 districts and each of those districts holds a seat in the House of Representatives and casts the electoral votes for the primary election.
The Stockton student body has a large percentage of its students registered to vote, at about 86% of the student body. On campus, there are many clubs and organizations that encouraged registration and create spaces for students to become politically active in the community. Stockton’s College Republicans and College Democrats are just two of those organizations that held an election watch party on November 8th as the results came in.
Stockton’s College Republicans Chair, Nicholas Hilbert, expressed the importance of voting and the impact students can make in the community by voting. “It is important to vote because politics play a role in your everyday lives from the price of the food you eat to making sure your communities are safe to how much taxes you pay. The decisions made every day by your local, state, and federal leaders represent your community and you should have a say in what goes on,” said Hilbert.
Hilbert also says, “Students can make an impact because the more people who vote, the more representative the electorate is. As with other age groups, students are affected heavily by poor policy whether that be once again high everyday costs or how safe their community is.”
“To be politically aware, students should pay attention to the news every once in a while or read up on what their local representatives have been doing. Those becoming more involved should stay away from the harmful and often times divisive content found on social media. Everyone should learn to love our great country together without having to constantly be at each other’s throats, and the closer we get to being able to handle these issues, the stronger our republic will be,” said Hilbert.
Stockton’s College Democrats President, Irenonsen Eigbe, expressed the importance of this election, voting amongst students, and the stakes of this election. “Voting allows us to have a say in the policies that affect our way of life. By choosing not to vote if we’re eligible, we lose out on an important right that is the foundation of the way our country is governed. We have this right, so why not use it?” said Eigbe.
Eigbe also said, “These elections are important from the local to the federal level because each has an impact on a different aspect of government policy. They can control the way schools are funded, benefit programs, and infrastructure, especially local elections where most legislation is passed.”
“For this election, reproductive rights are definitely on the line as many states have already started to restrict access to care. Gun policies and overall criminal justice reform are other issues driving out voters as we’re seeing an increase in shootings in schools and other public places as well as an increase in racial bias. We hope that in this election and future elections people use empathy along with facts to guide who they vote for,” said Eigbe.
The 2022 midterm election results in NJ resulted in 9 Democrats and 3 Republicans winning seats in the House. Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and Salem counties continue to be entirely represented by Jeff Van Drew as well as parts of Ocean, Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties continue to be represented by the Republican representative. For students living within these areas, more information about Jeff Van Drew can be found here https://vandrew.house.gov/.
Students who don’t know who their representative is or want to know the results of the midterm elections in Nj are encouraged to visit https://www.state.nj.us/transportation/refdata/gis/maps/congressional2232.pdf and https://www.washingtonpost.com/election-results/2022/new-jersey/.