Tomorrow, Saturday, October 24, 2020, the City of Trenton is encouraging its residents to join in unity and make their vote count by marching to Trenton City Hall’s ballot box together to submit this years presidential election ballots.
At noon, organization representatives, city officials and residents will be meeting at the Trenton War Memorial for a brief program before beginning the march to the ballot box.
“This is a coming together of the community, whether they are of the Democratic party, they’re Independent or Republican, to say voting is a core element of our democratic institutions and many more of us need to be doing it,” said co-spearhead, Bernard McMullan of the Trenton Council of Civic Associations.
Early this October, McMullan, along with co-spearhead and North Ward District 5 Committeewoman, Crystal Feliciano, met with various organizational leaders through a Zoom video call to plan out the day’s event.
Feliciano said, “We had discussed something where we could have people either stroll to the polls, walk to the polls, march to the polls, run to the polls, etc. We don’t care how you get there, just get there.”
According to McMullan, Saturday’s march is paying homage to the ballot box marches of the Civil Rights era. Whether residents of the county have voted already or not, they are encouraged to come and celebrate the importance of the people’s right to vote.
“Even if they did vote already, we want them to take part in the walk because it shows solidarity and unity,” said Feliciano. “It’s a move to help bring everyone together and to let it be known that our voices and our vote does matter.”
During the programs briefing, notable community officials such as Mayor Reed Gusciora, County Clerk, Paula Sollami Covello and Commissioner Samuel Frisby will be giving opening remarks. In addition to these official’s statements, the importance of voting in this years election and what it means for Trenton and the Nation will be discussed by speakers representing different areas of the city’s voting community.
McMullan said, “We’ll have a couple seniors, people who have voted for decades, a person who is voting for the first time (TCHS Graduate Class of 2020; Darrin Clark), an immigrant from Guatemala as well as a person who has reactivated their ability to vote after being incarcerated.”
Feliciano said, “It’s not a political thing, it’s a people thing.”
With this year’s COVID-19 pandemic, voters have had to change their usual voting routine of standing in line at the polls. According to McMullan, this change of atmosphere in regards to voting may continue on into the future.
“It is likely that we will be more and more dependent upon voting by mail or by ballot box in the future because it makes more sense, particularly in a community whose turn out is much lower than the rest of the state very often,” said McMullan. “I’m hoping that this becomes a model of ‘yes, it is safe, it is doable and it’s not that hard.'”