By Blaire Sheftel, News Editor
On November 8, New Jersey citizens totaling nearly 659,285 either traveled in person or corresponded via mail to cast their ballots for this year’s midterm elections. Up for election were Congressional seats in the House of Representatives for all twelve districts across the state in addition to two open representative positions in the State Senate and State Assembly within the State Legislature. Considering that New Jersey is traditionally categorized as a more liberal (blue) state, the majority of elected officials were of the Democratic party. Only three district electors were Republicans, which was not a shock as nearly sixty percent of the NJ state population is registered to vote Democrat. Specifically, the proportion of each Democratic to Republican seat was 9:3. Additionally, each Congressman who won their respective election was a member of the House of Representatives prior to 2022, one of which has retained a seat since 1981 (Republican Chris Smith for District 4).
However, one statistic which deviated from the norm, both in New Jersey and throughout the United States as a whole, was the utilization of early voting and ballots submitted by mail. The number of people voting via mail ballots or early in person has steadily risen each midterm election year, starting at 14% in 2002 before inching up to 20% in 2006. This midterm election saw more than 42 million early votes cast nationwide, setting a record in comparison to years past. Additionally, mail-in ballots have seen an increase in popularity with 72% of New Jersey voters utilizing this method during the 2022 midterm election to cast their vote.
It is essential for the Trinity Hall community and student body to be aware of the current House of Representatives chair-holders for surrounding districts, especially since a small number of seniors- who have already met the voting age requirement of eighteen- were able to participate in casting their ballots for the very first time. District 3 is represented by Democrat Andy Kim, District 4 is represented by Republican Chris Smith won re-election, District 6 is represented by Democrat Frank Pallone, and District 12 is represented by Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman. Overall, as either current or soon-to-be voters in the United States, it is important to remain informed on regional politics as administrative actions by Congress have the potential to directly impact students at Trinity Hall.