Here’s why we enthusiastically endorse Andrew Zwicker for LD16 State Senate:
The “County Line” in primary election ballots: Being placed in a preferential ballot position unfairly benefits some candidates and disadvantages others. Recognizing the outsize influence of the “county line” primary election ballots on the outcomes of elections, and the considerable voter confusion that they cause, I will support changing the NJ primary ballot to an “Office Bloc” design as is used in every other state and in some counties in NJ (see http://ggcnj.org/resolution for more information).
Comment: No doubt that ballot design needs to get better. The outcome of the current lawsuit will be critical. As you know, I introduced and continue to advocate for a ranked choice voting system like we are about to see in NYC. Under RCV, ballot design matters less, voter engagement increases, and voters quickly understand how to rank their choices. I’m pleased to see more and more support to start using RCV in NJ, we’re not there yet, but the momentum is in the right direction.
Ballot Order: Following best practices in 16 states, I will support implementing a rotational ballot order system that ensures to the greatest extent possible that all candidates running for the same office receive the first and subsequent ballot positions in an equal number of election districts and no candidate is advantaged over other candidates on the basis of their ballot placement (see http://ggcnj.org/resolution for more details).
Comment: See above, don’t need it with RCV.
Voter access: I support adopting parts of H.R.1 in New Jersey in order to increase voter participation, ensure access to the ballot box, and strengthen elections, including specifically same day registration, early voting and a paper trail for machine voting that enables verification.
Comment: Strong yes to all of these and more. Proud to be the prime sponsor of the early voting bill, the ballot cures act, paper trail legislation, and big supporter of same day registration
Ethics reform: I support ethics reforms that would require broader disclosure of financial information and the release of income taxes by candidates for county-level and state-level public office, as a means of transparency.
Campaign funding: I support the public funding of campaigns for all state-level elected offices (i.e., the state legislature and gubernatorial elections).
Comment: I put yes, because public financing would make such a big difference, but it doesn’t get to IE, dark money which will continue.
Redistricting: I support placing a nonpartisan commission in charge of the legislative redistricting process.
Public Advocate: I support passing legislation to reinstate the statewide Office of the Public Advocate that was eliminated in 2010.
Posting of bills: I support requiring bills to be posted a minimum of 72hrs prior to voting in the legislature, to allow legislators to read bills thoroughly and obtain feedback from the public.
Comment: Overall, yes, of course the public needs time to digest and review so this makes sense. But there are times when we need to “clean up” or otherwise quickly introduce a piece of legislation that is not an attempt to “sneak” something through so this would need to be worked out.
Legislative meetings: I support making all committee meetings accessible to the public for attendance and testimony by online means (e.g., via zoom) and streaming of voting sessions even after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, to increase availability and transparency of government.
Comment: We already stream voting sessions, but love the idea of remote zoom participation for those that can’t make it to the Statehouse
Full time legislature: I support making the state legislature full-time and prohibiting the simultaneous holding of other paid positions, so as to eliminate conflicts of interest and sources of influence and pressure on state legislators.
Comment: This is a tough one. I get the conflict of interest and influence part, that makes sense. But it would also eliminate many people running for office, I would not have done so if I had to give up my day job. Not sure which way is better on this.
More information about Andrew Zwicker:
Date of Birth: 5/17/1964
Current Occupation: Head of Communications & Public Outreach, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Education: Ph.D. in physics
Public/party service: NJ General Assembly Jan 2016-Present