Generally one-third to one-half of people who are eligible to vote, actually do. What happened to everyone else? Do people not care about who governs, or more importantly, how? Well, the truth is, if you have any doubts, your one vote doesn’t matter. Have you ever heard of an election decided by one vote? So why bother? More importantly, you have at least a million other things to be concerned with. You don’t know who the candidates are, what they care about or what they will do if they are elected. So indeed, do one of the countless other things you need to get done, and don’t even think about voting.
That was probably why only 200 people showed up last week at Rinat for an OU evening for TEACH NJS. While there are many thousands of people in New Jersey who care deeply about day-school education, and complain regularly about the horrible costs involved, only 200 care enough to give up an evening. Because the bottom line is “you can’t change City Hall.”
The reality is, though, that you can! The tens of thousands who don’t vote are the ones who don’t count! But if they did vote, their vote could make a dramatic difference. That’s what Josh Pruzansky has been telling people for some time. He is the OU New Jersey director of political affairs and public policy. And once you get to know him, you are blown away by his drive, his detailed knowledge of New Jersey politicians and his determination to make a difference. Go with him to Trenton to visit legislators (as I did last year together with a number of Orthodox New Jersey voters) and you see the amazing inroads he is forging, the contacts he has formed and, most amazingly, the small but growing changes he has brought about. Those changes can and will continue to grow—but they need our help. The first and most important step is to get every orthodox Jew to vote. Do so—even if you are unsure of the issues or even the people running. Just vote! Watch for and support future meetings of Teach NJS and enjoy the benefits that the OU is nurturing.
By Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Glick