Voters Head To The Polls On Primary Day

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STATE – Voters are heading to the polls today as Democrats and Republicans choose their party’s nominees to run in November’s general election.

Of the state’s 40 legislative districts, just 16 have contested primaries. In the 20th District, which encompasses Elizabeth, Union, Hillside and Roselle, political power broker Ray Lesniak faces a challenge from Elizabeth assistant school superintendent Jerome Dunn for his state Senate seat in the Democratic primary. Lesniak’s running mates, Asm. Joe Cryan and Asw. Annette Quijano, are being challenged by former Elizabeth school board member Tony Monteiro and Elizabeth Councilman Carlos Cedeno.

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There are a number of local races being contested today as well. There is a three-way contest for mayor in Roselle’s Democratic primary. Incumbent Garrett Smith is being challenged by former Councilman Joseph O’Halloran and current Councilman Jamel Holley, who has the backing of the regular political organization.

There are two contested council primaries in Linden. Councilwoman Michelle Yamakaitis faces opposition from school board member Jacqueline Williams, while Archie Strazzella is trying to unseat Councilman Richard Puschel.

Jean M. Pierce is vying against Council members Kyle Anderson, Gregg Ficara, James Carroll and Brenda Yori Velasco in Woodbridge’s Democratic primary. On the Republican side, Robert Luban and Christopher Struben hope to win the right to face Mayor John McCormac in Novemeber. Both are running with full council slates: Scott C. Brescher, Susan Boros, Anthony Cuntala and Kenneth Russo are aligned with Luban; Eduardo Ascolese, Walter P. Kaczmarek, Debra Reinhart and Aaron Strange are aligned with Struben.

Edison Democrats are facing a challenge from 22-year-old Samip Joshi in today’s primary.

The polls are open until 8 p.m. tonight.

Attorney General Paula T. Dow announced that approximately 100 Deputy Attorneys General will be deployed throughout the state to ensure a fair election.

“Deputy Attorneys General will be stationed in each of the 21 counties on Primary Election Day,” said Dow. “They will be there throughout the day to help county election officials resolve any polling place or voting-related legal issues that might arise. We are committed to ensuring that the rights of every eligible voter are protected.”

Dow said anyone who believes his or her voting rights have been interfered with, whether voting in a polling place or by mail-in ballot, should immediately contact the state hotline at 1-877-NJVOTER or 1-609-599-6877.

Members of the public can also address election-related queries to their County Superintendent of Election and county Board of Election.

A list of county-level election office contacts can be found on the Division of Elections Web site at www.NJElections.org . The web site offers information about the voting process and voting rights. In addition, those who wish to provide information concerning accessibility of specific polling sites for the disabled can do so by filling out an online feedback form.


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