Don’t complain if you don’t vote

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, exercise your Constitutional right to vote

It has always been the policy of this newspaper to remain out of politics. We have never endorsed candidates for office — and that is not about to change right now.

However, with Election Day coming next week, on Tuesday, Nov. 6, there is nothing political about urging residents to get out and to exercise their Constitutional right to vote.

Locally, there are a few contested races. In North Arlington, voters will choose between four candidates for mayor and several for Borough Council.

In Kearny, last-minute write-in candidate, Lawrence Handlin, will challenge sitting Third Ward Councilwoman Eileen Eckel for that seat.

Statewide, voters will decide whether U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat, should return to the Senate for six more years or whether Robert Hugin, a Republican — both men are originally from Hudson County’s Union City — should replace him.

U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr. and Albio Sires face little challenge in their races to retain seats in the House.

Control of both houses of Congress remain in the balance and could decide the direction in which the country moves for at least the next two years.

So very often, no matter where it is one lives, we hear people bemoaning their elected representation. Whether it’s in conversation, at the family dinner table or perhaps most notably, on social media, people love to complain about the people who “lead” us.

Yet the truth is, so many times, the bemoaners are the ones who don’t even take the necessary 10 minutes or so it requires to go to the ballot box and to vote.

So here’s the deal — when you wake up on Tuesday, Nov. 6, just a few days from now, ask yourself this — will you complain, at any point, in the next two years, about the behavior or actions of the people elected to serve? If the answer is “yes,” and you stay at home, passing on the chance to let your voice be heard, take your complaints elsewhere.

Consider how few people vote in midterm elections. The numbers are embarrassing. In the last one — in 2014 — the turnout was approximately 30% in Hudson County. That means for every person who voted, there were 2+ voters, on average, who stayed home.

In 2018, there’s a lot on the table. And it would be great to see more than 30% of the voters casting ballots next week. So when you wake up on Nov. 6, ask yourself another question: Is it worth sacrificing just a few minutes to go the polls?

In every case, the answer should be “yes.”

However, if somehow the answer is “no,” good luck finding people willing to listen to your complaints — you had a chance to do that at the ballot box, but failed. And it doesn’t get much worse than that.

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.