Voter Service Report 2013
Thanks to the participation of many members and in collaboration with Princeton Community TV and the Princeton Packet, Voter Service held 12 registration drives, produced three forums that were videotaped and rebroadcast, and published nine Voters' Guides. Fifty-six voters took home registration forms, two more registered with the League, 73 needed Vote by Mail applications, and many others asked questions about the special Senate election and thanked the League for its work. All three forums were well-attended, and the three videos have been viewed nearly 2,000 times. On November 4, the day before elections, 145 people visited the League website. Another 263 visited on Election Day. The period October 13 – November 6 experienced a ten-fold increase in the number of visits to the site compared to the rest of the year. During Voter Service events, 18 people expressed interest in joining the League. The Membership team followed up, and four have joined officially.
Registration began in August at the West Windsor and Princeton Night Outs and continued in September at the Centennial celebration at the Mapleton Preserve in Kingston and the Mary Jacobs Library in Rocky Hill. To meet the deadline for the special Senate election, registrations at the Montgomery and Princeton Farmers' Markets and McCaffrey's took place before statewide registration. As always, Joan Bharucha covered West Windsor every Saturday in September. Two registrations for the November election took place at the Princeton Farmers' Market and Shop Rite in Montgomery in October.
The Princeton Council Forum, co-sponsored by Princeton Community TV took place on Monday, September 16 at 7:00 PM at Monument Hall in Princeton. Deborah Macmillan moderated with Carolyn Rosen, also from the East Windsor-Hightstown League, as time keeper. Ingrid Reed screened. Three candidates answered questions from an audience of 30 (2/3 of the auditorium). The hour-long forum was videotaped and rebroadcast eight times on Princeton TV. The video was archived on the TV's website and on the League's. The forum was covered in the Trenton Times, Town Topics, Princeton Packet and at Planet Princeton. 749 people watched all or part of the video.
The Princeton Board of Education Forum took place on Tuesday, September 17 at 7:00 PM at Monument Hall. Karen Siracusa moderated, Kip Cherry was timekeeper, and Linda Mather and Melissa Scott screened. Four candidates (one had withdrawn) answered questions from an audience of 29. The hour-long forum, also co-sponsored by Princeton TV, was videotaped, rebroadcast, and archived like the Council forum. It was covered by the Packet. 813 people watched all or part of the video.
The 16th Legislative District Forum was held on Tuesday, October 15 at 7:00 PM at Witherspoon Hall in Princeton. Karen Siracusa moderated, Lee Forbes was timekeeper, and Anne Zeman screened. Five candidates (one Democrat was ill) answered questions from an audience of 80 (capacity is106) The forum, co-sponsored by Princeton TV, lasted 90 minutes and was rebroadcast eleven times and archived as described above. Blue Jersey also covered it. 411 people watched all or part of the video.
Nine Voters' Guides, covering 36 candidates, were published in The Packet between October 18th and 25th . They included school board elections in Montgomery, West Windsor-Plainsboro, and Princeton; the mayoral contest in West Windsor; and contests for municipal seats in Montgomery, Plainsboro, Princeton, and West Windsor. All were posted on the League website.
I especially want to acknowledge our new member George McCollough of Princeton TV, Sandy Shapiro for posting everything immediately, Anne Zeman for helping pull off the last-minute 16th District forum, Joan Bharucha for again registering the most people, and Sandy Smith for handling the Plainsboro municipal and WW-P School Board Voters' Guides. But Voter Service also depended on the work and/or wisdom – some small contributions, several large - of many other members: Toshe Abe, Sheila Berkelhammer, Kip Cherry, Lee Forbes, Frieda Gilvarg, Nancy Hall, Cynthia Minor Hendrickson, Ellen Kemp, Beverly Kestenis, Celia Lidz, Netty Lowenstein, Rita Ludlum, Linda Mather, Shiela Mitchell, Edith Neimark, Sandie Rabinowitz, Martha Redi, Ingrid and Marvin Reed, John Schivell, Melissa Scott, Grace Sinden, Linda Sipprelle, Paula Simpkins, and Marietta Taylor. I appreciate the compliments you give me as Voter Service chair, but, as you can see, it's really a team effort – and if I've inadvertently forgotten anyone, please accept my apology!
Submitted by Chrystal Schivell