NJ candidates must now provide email addresses to voters
It just got a little easier for voters to contact candidates running for state and local offices in New Jersey now that Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law requiring all candidates for state, county, municipal and school board seats to provide a working email address.
Right now candidates provide only mailing addresses, says Jesse Burns, executive director of The League of Women Voters of New Jersey. But when voters try to get in touch with them, they're left sending snail mail to P.O. boxes that often go unchecked.
"So email addresses are going to make it easier for voters and nonpartisan organizations like ours to contact candidates to ask about their stand on issues, to ask them to participate in debates or to participate in candidates questionnaires," says Burns.
She does believe that access to emails will increase voter activity. When people know more about candidates, they're more likely to turn out to vote.
Every community has their concerns. So that's one reason why it's important for voters to be able to get in contact with candidates. But Burns also says it would also be great to invite candidates to things like house parties, or coffees or to senior centers.
Burns says there has been a big drop-off in candidates participating in forums and debates. So it would be great if the state could encourage candidates to participate in debates, whether it's the political parties themselves encouraging their party members to participate or making sure that candidates are being held accountable and turning out and speaking with their potential constituents.
"This is a great step forward," says Burns.