In both New Jersey and Soviet Russia, democracy requires a choice of candidates

February 21, 2022

As a child in Soviet Russia, I distinctly remember my mom voting. Like most Russians, she never missed an election — all adult citizens were expected to vote and failing to do so could have substantial economic and political repercussions.

Although rates of voting participation were high, election outcomes were never in doubt because there was only one candidate available for each position.

I’ve thought about the Soviet system a lot over the last few years as I’ve researched New Jersey politics, particularly our primary elections. As was the case in Soviet Russia, New Jersey residents are encouraged to vote. In fact, laudable recent reforms have made voting easier, with expanded access to vote by mail and early voting. Opinion, February 20, 2022

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