Op-Ed on a Uniformed Ballot Design

britnee Timberlake

“Dear People of New Jersey,

History has shown instances where dedicated people-first community leaders such as the late State Senator Ronald L. Rice have triumphed outside the “county line” by winning elections “off the line.” I would like to think when you truly serve the people, where your name is positioned on the election day ballot becomes inconsequential. I would like to think that people will always find your name and vote for you if you have served them well, but that has not always been the case. In fact, Senator Rice’s victory, and a few others, were considered anomalies, and their stories told like camp fire tales of extraordinary circumstances and victory.

When I first ran for office, I ran on my pre-existing record for the community and work in the space of providing affordable homeownership and educational opportunities. After winning the election and others since, I’ve remained rooted in community advocacy, tirelessly fighting for initiatives to enhance the lives of everyday people. I am a proud Democrat. While having the support of the Democratic Party, I have built a record of service as to never take the people for granted. My accomplishments are not mine alone; they are a testament to collaborative efforts and reflect a commitment to effecting positive change:

I’ve played a pivotal role in landmark legislation, including the nation’s strongest environmental justice law, the $15-an-hour minimum wage bill, and reforms in police-community relations. The recent passage of the Community Wealth Preservation Program will reshape our foreclosure system to address the wealth gap and makes a significant stride toward systemic change. This year alone, the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights became law giving rights to workers who have been traditionally carved out of protections dating back to FDR’s monumental New Deal. Additionally, I’ve successfully championed laws advancing expanded healthcare coverage, women’s equity, and social and economic justice.

Because I believe if we are not careful, partisan politics may destroy our human connection, more than a few of my bills (even some of the justice ones) have passed with bipartisan support.

My unwavering dedication to equity and justice is evidenced by my fearless stance against formidable opponents such as big banks and corporate representatives. Because faith without deeds is dead, I believe this success has only been accomplished due to God and wide coalitions formed through community organizing efforts. These broad-based coalitions, some of the largest in recent history, comprised of nonprofits, unions, and civic organizations, represent the collective ambition for a fairer society. I am committed to locking arms with these advocates, prioritizing the needs of the people before political agendas.

So why recount a portion of my public service record? Because it is the only thing that should be referred to when asking for a vote. Ballot line placement should not be a reason to vote for someone.

As your State Senator for the 34th Legislative District, in legislative and community advocacy decisions, I take immense pride in consistently putting “Principles Over Politics.” Embracing this ethos, is why I am strongly advocating for a uniform office block design ballot across all counties in New Jersey. This is the process used in 49 other states and two NJ counties. In the uniformed design, the right to associate with a party or organization may still be included. Such uniformity ensures that elected officials are chosen based on their merits, qualifications, record of service, and fulfillment of promises, rather than the potential of ballot placement in each county.

Creating this as our election ballot design may do four things: One, create a fairer process in our democracy. Two, result in more elected officials who put “Principles Over Politics.” Three, inspire voters to thoroughly research each candidate’s record of service and qualifications. Four, result in a better society with better systems in place that work for everyone.

Happy voting.

In service,

NJ State Senator Britnee N. Timberlake

Representing the 34th Legislative District:

Belleville, Bloomfield, East Orange, Glen Ridge, Nutley, and Orange”

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One response to “Op-Ed on a Uniformed Ballot Design”

  1. Several informative words jump out of the Op-Ed that make me highly skeptical of NJ Senator Timberlake’s motives: “Environmental justice law”, “women’s equity”, “social and economic justice”. The most telling is the projection and gaslighting of others not of the Leftist persuasion of “partisan politics may destroy our human connection”–which are buzz phrases for misinformation and malinformation by the good Senator. All of the above phraseology expounds on the tired, old, and failed policies and programs that amount to nothing more than Socialism and Communist constructs.

    Senator Timberlake talks about “equity” and “justice”. She talks about “women’s equity”. There is no talk of “equality”. Now, it is “women’s equity” which is the nice sounding propaganda for “women’s power, command and officialdom”. What ever happened to EQUAL RIGHTS (under the 14th Amendment) with men???? Whatever happened to “equality” and “justice”?

    The terms “equity”, “social and economic justice”, “environmental justice” and “women’s equity” constitutes dog-whistling by the Democrat-Communists in Trenton (and D.C. for that matter), that “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”. From George Orwell’s novel “Animal Farm,” which is used to criticize the hypocrisy and corruption of the pigs (Democrat-Communist-Leftists) who take over the farm.

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