TRENTON — A coalition of 24 urban mayors released a joint statement today slamming Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli’s plan to impose discriminatory voter suppression laws in New Jersey.
“Recently, our nation has seen an alarming rise in partisan efforts to enact voting restrictions that disproportionately disenfranchise people of color and weaken our democracy. The fight to secure voting rights and end voter suppression directly impacts members of our communities, many of whom are people of color, who’ve long been the target of voting restrictions under the guise of election integrity.
“These are people who fully participate in and make our communities stronger, and yet we’re witnessing a concerted effort to prevent them from having a voice in shaping the direction of their future. That is basic injustice — an injustice that belongs as a chapter of history in the 1960s rather than 2021 and the future of New Jersey.
“As elected leaders representing diverse communities across New Jersey, we strongly reject the shameful proposals that have been championed by Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and members of the Legislature to impose discriminatory voter ID requirements and to purge New Jerseyans from voter rolls.
“While Republicans like Assemblyman Ciattarelli want to drag our state back, Governor Murphy has been steadfastly committed to a whole-of-government approach that expands democracy and removes barriers to the ballot box, enacting automatic voter registration, in-person early voting, and restoring the voting rights of those on probation and parole, among other important measures.
“We can’t allow divisive rhetoric and Jim Crow-era assaults on voting rights to take New Jersey backward. We can’t accept leaders who openly undermine the basic principles of our democracy. The more people who are eligible to vote, and the easier we make it for them to cast a ballot, the stronger our communities will be.”
The joint statement was issued by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh, Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp, Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly, Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small, Franklin Township Mayor Phil Kramer, Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse, Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes, Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss, Orange Township Mayor Dwayne Warren, Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, Passaic City Mayor Hector Lora, Willingboro Township Mayor Tiffani Worthy, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, Millville Mayor Michael Santiago, Rahway Mayor Raymond Giacobe, Linden Mayor Derek Armstead, Roselle Mayor Donald Shaw, Union City Mayor Brian Stack, and East Orange Mayor Ted Green.