Here’s why we’re endorsing Kevin Barfield for Democratic State Committee:
The “County Line” in primary election ballots: Being placed in a preferential ballot position unfairly benefits some candidates and disadvantages others. Recognizing the outsize influence of the “county line” primary election ballots on the outcomes of elections, and the considerable voter confusion that they cause, I will support changing the NJ primary ballot to an “Office Bloc” design as is used in every other state and in some counties in NJ (see http://ggcnj.org/resolution for more information).
Comment: The election process should be fair and balanced I will work to change how candidates are placed in columns.
Ballot Order: Following best practices in 16 states, I will support implementing a rotational ballot order system that ensures to the greatest extent possible that no candidate is advantaged over other candidates on the basis of their ballot placement by enabling all candidates running for the same office to receive first and subsequent ballot positions an equal number of times (see http://ggcnj.org/resolution for more details).
Comment: We must change the status quo advantage to monopolize this process. Every candidate should have an opportunity and there should be a rotating ballot. I will work towards this change.
Election Sanctity: In light of multiple county parties canceling county committee and county party leadership elections scheduled for 2020 through 2023, I will use all resources and take all steps necessary to ensure that any County Committee election in my party will proceed as scheduled without postponement or cancellation. Elections are the bedrock of our democracy, and they should be canceled only as an absolute last resort.
Comment: This is another tactic the status quo uses to keep opposition from challenging them and stalling progress. I will work to changing this abuse of power.
Unification and clarity of ballot access rules: The rules and requirements for candidates to gain access to the ballot are opaque and different from county to county, placing unnecessary hurdles in front of candidates for office. I will work to create a unified system of written rules that govern ballot access in all counties, and ensure that county committees abide by these rules.
Comment: Camden County should be in alignment with other counties across the state and stop this blatant disregard for a fair election ballot and process. I will work to ensure a unified system.
Endorsements by county convention: I will work to revise the Party by-laws such that they require all county committees to determine endorsements by a secret ballot that is open to all county committee members. Democracy starts within the party, and elected county committee members should have a say on the direction of the party.
Comment: I support secret ballot at the state convention. No one should fear retaliation because they don’t agree or support a direction within a party. I will work to change the fear of independent thinking.
Encouraging competition and debate: I will work to ensure that eligibility for endorsement is not predicated on promising to drop out of the race if not endorsed by the county committee. Competitive Primary races invigorate our democracy, bring important issues up for debate, and ensure that party members voting in Primary elections have a voice in electing their representatives. Parties should not be forcing candidates to drop out.
Comment: All candidates should participate in debate issues so voters hear their positions on issues that impact them the most.The status quo needs to be made to participate in debates. It should not be accepted to be on a ballot without debating in front of your constituents. I will work to change this fundamental democratic process.
Transparency & Assistance: I will encourage and help anyone who is interested in running for office within my party by providing them guidance regarding deadlines and materials, and ensuring they have access to materials needed for campaigning (e.g., lists of voters in the party).
Comment: I will help candidates interested in running for office by offering the resources needed to run a successful campaign.
Candidate Information: I will work to ensure that names and contact emails of all candidates for office in my party are freely available online so that voters can contact candidates and find out about their platform, in line with Title 19, Section 23-7.
Comment: I will work to make available candidates information so that transparency is not a concern to voters.
Accessibility of Candidates: I support requiring candidates running for office in my party to provide a campaign website, and will petition the party to create a page linking all candidates in my party to their respective websites, so that voters can easily find who is running to represent them, and what is their platform.
Comment: I support candidates running for office to have a website so voters can see the work they have done in the Community.
Redistricting: I support placing a nonpartisan commission in charge of the legislative redistricting process.
Comment: I support a non partisan committee that will create a fair redistricting map and will work to make it happen.
More information about Kevin Barfield:
Date of Birth: 10/10/1963
Education: High school graduate and some college
Public/party service: Spent 15 years serving as a parent advocate in Camden City. Serve on many nonprofit committees, and worked on serval political campaigns. I recently served two years as president of the Camden County NAACP.