June 07, 2004

The Most Irrelevant State in the Union (tie). I just received my Official Primary Election Sample Ballot for the Hudson County primary, being held this Tuesday. I started studying the ballot, in large part because the polling location for my election district is actually in my condo building, and that would be pretty freaking lame if I were to skip out on an election that was being held in my building, especially since it's not like I have a job or anything to keep me from it.

Anyway, my point is, I was looking over the ballot when I was surprised to see the name "John F. Kerry," and for a second I thought it was odd that there would be a candidate for a local position with the same name as the Presidential nominee. Then I looked and saw that "Vince Lombardi" was running for Sheriff, so I thought that maybe it wasn't so odd, but upon further study I finally realized something rather shocking: we folks in New Jersey get to vote in the Presidential primaries, too!

Yes, almost five months after those hardy souls in Iowa basically decided who the Democratic nominee was going to be, we here in New Jersey, an exponentially more representative state than Iowa or its electoral twin New Hampshire, finally get to attend the party, long after the band has packed up and the cleaning staff has thrown out the hors d'oeuvres. I mean, we even vote after freaking Guam and Puerto Rico! Along with the approximately 200 or so people who live in Montana, New Jersey will be closing out the primary season, though the ballot has thinned a little over the past few months. Gone are Dean, Edwards, Clark, and Sharpton, leaving only Kerry, Dennis Kucinich, Lyndon LaRouche (whose supporters maintain a fairly regular presence over in Journal Square), and George H. Ballard, III, whose previous political experience includes (well, apparently entirely consists of) running for President in 2000.

As a side note, New Jersey has 129 delegates to the Democratic National Convention, 107 of which will be determined based on the results of the primary, while the remaining 22 "unpledged" delegates will officially consist of:
  • 10 Democratic National Committee members
  • 9 Members of Congress (2 Senators and 7 Representatives)
  • 1 Governor
  • 2 Unpledged "add-on"s, elected by a vote of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee
  • 0 Distinguished Party Leaders
Doesn't that seem a little odd? I mean, it's bad enough if your state has no distinguished party leaders, but do they have to rub it in your face like that?
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