The National Organization for Women of New Jersey commends Union County, especially Union County Clerk, Joanne Rajoppi for ensuring that all Office Titles on the June Primary Ballot are gender-neutral. We believe that this is important because words matter. As an organization, we encourage and applaud women running for elected office, but are acutely aware of the gender bias and sexism that exists towards female candidates. Therefore, we are delighted to see this small but significant change.
Anjali Mehrotra, President of the National Organization of Women of New Jersey speaks from personal experience. “When I ran for Council in Mountainside last year, the position I ran for was listed as Councilman on the ballot. Few residents in New Jersey are aware that the arrangement of the ballot is at the sole discretion of the County Clerk. I was able to work with the Union County Clerk to remedy our ballot. Thankfully this year all titles have been changed to reflect gender-neutrality.”
When voters head to the polls on Tuesday for the primary in Union County they will see many changes. They will see shiny new voting machines, and in municipalities that have local races this year such as Berkeley Heights, Fanwood, Mountainside and Summit, they will see township council races listed as ‘Member/s of Council.’
The National Organization for Women of New Jersey recognizes that representation matters and urges more women to run for office. At the same time, we remain cognizant of the inherent discrimination that still exists in our electoral process. This is a small step forward but we will not stop here. Next, we will work towards a legislative statute to ensure a permanent solution, making gender-neutral ballots a reality for all New Jerseyans.
Download the press release here..