Here is why we are enthusiastically endorsing Shavonda E. Sumter for LD35 Assembly:
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: Ensuring that there is greater access for minority and women candidates is critical for balanced statewide representatives. The Office Bloc design will ensure consistency and pragmatism by the 21 county clerks for ballot designs to ensure voter intuition to complete the ballot and fair candidate positioning. Additionally, multi-language should be included on the ballot design..
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 all candidates running for the same office receive the first and subsequent ballot positions in an equal number of election districts and no candidate is advantaged over other candidates on the basis of their ballot placement (see http://ggcnj.org/resolution for more details).
Voter access: I support adopting parts of H.R.1 in New Jersey in order to increase voter participation, ensure access to the ballot box, and strengthen elections, including specifically same day registration, early voting and a paper trail for machine voting that enables verification.
Comment: Strong advocate for increased voter access, early voting, voter rights restoration for persons incarcerated and reduced prison gerrymandering.
Ethics reform: I support ethics reforms that would require broader disclosure of financial information and the release of income taxes by candidates for county-level and state-level public office, as a means of transparency.
Campaign funding: I support the public funding of campaigns for all state-level elected offices (i.e., the state legislature and gubernatorial elections).
Redistricting: I support placing a nonpartisan commission in charge of the legislative redistricting process.
Comment: The Redistricting commission should have a balance of minorities and women to ensure fair representation.
Public Advocate: I support passing legislation to reinstate the statewide Office of the Public Advocate that was eliminated in 2010.
Posting of bills: I support requiring bills to be posted a minimum of 72hrs prior to voting in the legislature, to allow legislators to read bills thoroughly and obtain feedback from the public.
Legislative meetings: I support making all committee meetings accessible to the public for attendance and testimony by online means (e.g., via zoom) and streaming of voting sessions even after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, to increase availability and transparency of government.
Full time legislature: I support making the state legislature full-time and prohibiting the simultaneous holding of other paid positions, so as to eliminate conflicts of interest and sources of influence and pressure on state legislators.
More information about Shavonda E. Sumter:
Date of Birth: 1/19/1974
Current Occupation: Healthcare
Education: MBA- Health Systems Management
Public/party service: Entered the NJ Legislature in 2012, Elected member of NJ Democratic State Committee since 2014