29 April 2010

License to Run

Today I made my quadrennial visit to the MVC office on Union Avenue in Somerville to renew my New Jersey Driver's License.  I was well prepared.  I took my current license, my birth certificate, and my ATM card with my embossed name and signature on the back.  Those are just a few of the many items you can choose from to verify your identity under the 6 Point ID Verification Program.

But that is not what this post is about.  Indeed, I was in and out of that office in about 15 minutes.  And that includes the minute I spent standing at the reception desk while the greeter finished her magazine.

The purpose of this post is to let you know how easy it is to run for elected office in New Jersey.  Much easier than renewing your driver's license.

There are requirements, of course, to stand for an elected post such as the Board of Education seat I was reelected to this month.  You must be a High School graduate. you must be registered to vote, and you must live in the district where you are running.  But you don't have to prove any of that.

All you must do is declare it.  A simple signature attesting to your qualifications, and that's it.  Be the first one to sign your own petition, get nine other registered voters to put their names down, and you're on your way.

I've never had to show any ID or prove residency, or anything else - and now I am one of nine individuals with oversight of a $108 million budget, 1000 employees, and most importantly, the education of 7500 children.

And I never needed to show so much as a library card, or a ticket from the dry cleaner!

Only in New Jersey.

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