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Union County Board of Elections Announces Early In-Person Voting Locations for 2024 Primary Election

Union County voters may use any of these locations for early in-person voting

Union County Board of Elections Administrator Nicole DiRado advises Union County residents that eight locations have been selected for those wishing to cast their vote early, in-person for the 2024 Primary Election. Any registered, Union County voter can use any of these sites to vote in-person, by machine from Wednesday, May 29 through Sunday June 2, 2024.

“New Jersey has expanded voters’ rights by introducing early voting in 2021,” said Ms. DiRado. “We encourage voters to use early voting, or a vote by mail ballot, to cast their vote ahead of Election Day.  Making a plan to cast your vote is important and there are now more options in New Jersey than ever before.”

  • Cranford: Union College, 1033 Springfield Avenue, Nomahegan Building, Room N4, Near the Guard Booth – Parking in Lot 1
  • Elizabeth: Sampson Community Center, 800 Anna Street
  • New Providence: DeCorso Senior Center, 15 E. 4th Street
  • Plainfield, Union College, Church Street, Between E. 2nd & E. 3rd
  • Rahway:  Rahway Recreation Center, 271 E. Milton Avenue
  • Roselle: Amalfe Community Center, 1268 Shaffer Avenue
  • Union Township: Union Township Senior Center, 652 Rahway Avenue
  • Union Township: Kean University, New Academic Building, corner of North Avenue and Morris Avenue, Lobby Access

All of these early voting locations will be open during the following hours:

  • Wednesday, May 29, 10am – 8pm
  • Friday, May 31, 10am – 8pm
  • Saturday, June 1, 10am – 8pm
  • Sunday, June 2, 10am – 6pm

Upon arriving at an early voting location, voters will sign in on an electronic poll book.  The electronic poll book will print a bar code on the ballot card so the voting machine knows which ballot to activate.  The ballot card will be inserted into the voting machine which begins the process for the voter.

Please note that these locations are for machine voting only. Mail-in ballots cannot be submitted at these locations.

Voters who plan to use a mail-in ballot can deposit it in any of the twenty-four (24) Board of Elections’ secure drop boxes in Union County, return it to the Board of Elections by U.S. Postal Service, or hand-deliver it to the Board of Elections office in Elizabeth by June 4, 2024 at 8pm.

Voters who choose to vote in person on Election Day, June 4, must use their designated polling place.

For more information, including a list of drop box locations and an online polling place finder, visit the Board of Elections online at ucnj.org/ucboe, email ucboe@ucnj.org, or call 908-527-4123.

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Union County Clerk Extends Office Hours for 2024 Primary Election Voters Using Mail-in Ballots

Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi reminds voters that her offices in Elizabeth and Westfield will be open for extended hours on Saturday, June 1st from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., for anyone seeking to obtain a Vote-by-Mail ballot for the 2024 Primary Election.

“The Saturday hours help ensure that everyone who applies for a Vote-by-Mail ballot can do so, without having to take time off from work or other weekday responsibilities,” said Ms. Rajoppi.

“I urge residents to exercise their right to vote in the Primary Election. On the ballot this year are important races including President, US Senate, House of Representatives as well as Commissioners. There are also local races in many municipalities,” Ms. Rajoppi added.

Voters who use the County Clerk’s One-Stop service can come to the Elizabeth or Westfield office, apply for their ballot, receive it, fill it out, and deposit it in a secure drop-box on site, all in the same visit. Privacy booths are located at the offices for voters to fill out their ballot.

The office locations and hours are:

Union County Courthouse

  • Located at 2 Broad Street, Room 113, Elizabeth
  • Regular hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm
  • Open on Saturday, June 1, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm for Vote-by-Mail

Colleen Fraser Building

  • Located at 300 North Avenue East (Union County services complex), Westfield
  • Regular hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 8:00am – 7:30pm; Saturday, June 1, 9:00am – 1:00pm

For more information about the County Clerk’s election services visit unioncountyvotes.com or contact the Elections Division at 908-527-4996 or ucvote@ucnj.org. For more information about all County Clerk programs and services, visit online at ucnj.org/county-clerk or call 908-527-4787.

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Free Swimming Lessons for Children and Seniors returns to Union County this Summer

The Union County Board of County Commissioners, in partnership with the Gateway Family YMCA, is pleased to announce the return of free swimming lessons for county youth and seniors at our Walter E. Ulrich Memorial Pool in Rahway, this summer.

“Water safety is a vital tool that every person should have, especially our children and senior citizens,” said Union County Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “These two groups of people are most at risk for drowning incidents, and it is the number one cause of death in children ages 1-4 years old. These free classes will empower them to have a safe and healthy summer, and will give everyone the knowledge and practice needed to stay safe near water. Our senior swimming exercises lessons not only give our elderly population a chance to exercise in a low-impact environment, but allows them a chance to socialize in our spacious county pool. I urge everyone from our youth and senior populations to take advantage of these lessons.”

Children/participants must reside in low-income households, they must check off one of the qualifying criteria and provide proof with their enrollment: QCT, TANF, SNAP, NSLP, SBP, Medicare Part D, SSI, Head Start and Early Head Start, Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women (WIC), Section 8 Housing, LIHEAP, and Pell Grants or be the age of 65 and above.

Swimming lessons will take place at the Walter E. Ulrich Memorial Pool, located at 3 Parkway Drive in Rahway. A variety of courses have been designed for both children and senior citizens:

Youth Beginner: Students develop comfort with underwater exploration and focus on body position and control, directional change, and forward movement in the water while also continuing to practice how to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water. Classes will meet once a week for 8 weeks with a ratio of 1 instructor per six students. Thursday classes will meet once a week for 7 weeks due to the July 4th holiday.

  • Thursday 9:50am-10:30am (3-5 yrs) 7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22
  • Thursday 11:20am-12:00pm (3-5 yrs) 7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22
  • Thursday 10:35M-11:15am (6-12 yrs) 7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22
  • Thursday 11:20AM-12:00pm (6-12 yrs) 7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22

Youth Basic Lesson: Students learn how to swim to safety from a longer distance than in previous stages through stroke technique in front crawl and back crown while also introducing rhythmic breathing and integrated arm and leg action. Water safety is reinforced through treading water and rolling to their back to float. Classes will meet once a week for 8 weeks with a ratio of 1 instructor per six students. Thursday classes will meet once a week for 7 weeks due to the July 4th holiday.

  • Tuesday 6:45pm – 7:25pm (6-12yrs) 7/2, 7/9, 7/16, 7/23, 7/30, 8/6, 8/13, 8/20
  • Thursday 9:05am-9:45am (3-5yrs) 7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22
  • Thursday 10:35am-11:15am (3-5 yrs) 7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22
  • Thursday 6:45pm-7:25pm (6-12 yrs) 7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22

Senior Adult Lesson: Students develop comfort with underwater exploration and focus on body position and control, directional change, and forward movement in the water while also continuing to practice safety skills like rolling to their backs and floating. Classes will meet once a week for 8 weeks with a ratio of 1 instructor per six students. Thursday classes will meet once a week for 7 weeks due to the July 4th holiday.

  • Tuesday 6:00pm-6:40pm 7/2, 7/9, 7/16, 7/23, 7/30, 8/6, 8/13, 8/20
  • Thursday 9:50am-10:30am 7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22
  • Thursday 6:00pm-6:40pm 7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22

Senior Water Exercise: Participants engage in exercise through low impact movements while focusing on muscle toning and cardio endurance. This is especially helpful for those seeking the ability to exercise without jarring their joints. Classes will meet once a week for 8 weeks.

  • Wednesday 9:00am-9:40am 7/3, 7/10, 7/17, 7/24, 7/31, 8/7, 8/14, 8/21

For more information about eligibility requirements and to register for lessons, visit www.ucnj.org/swim. To learn about the various programs offered by the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.ucnj.org/parks.

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Union County Celebrates Pride Month with 5k and Fun Color Run on Saturday, June 8th

The Union County Board of County Commissioners is excited to invite all residents to the inaugural Union County LGBTQ Pride 5K and Fun Color Run at Oak Ridge Park on Saturday, June 8th. In addition to the race, residents can enjoy family-friendly activities and explore various resource tables from Union County departments and our community partners.

Click here to register online

“We are thrilled to host this event that not only promotes health and wellness, but also brings our community together to celebrate our county’s diversity,” said Union County Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “Whether you’re running for a personal best or just to show your support, all are welcome at the 5K and Fun Color Run.”

A Color Run is a unique kind of race, where participants run or walk along a chosen route while being showered with colored, eco-friendly powders. Participants usually wear light colored clothing to give the colors maximum visual impact, and the resulting photos and videos are vibrant and impactful, and sure to catch people’s attention.

The Pride 5K and Fun Color Run will be held on Saturday, June 8th in Oak Ridge Park – 136 Oak Ridge Road in Clark. Check-in opens up at 8:00am. The 5K kicks off at 9:00am, followed by the non-competitive Fun Run at 9:15am.

The first 100 registrants will receive a free PRIDE 5K and Fun Color Run t-shirt. Registration for both the 5K and Fun Run is $25 per person, with a price increase of $30 when registering the morning of the event. Registration information can be found on www.ucnj.org/lgbtq. The 5K race is certified and professionally timed by Split Second Racing, ensuring an accurate and enjoyable race experience for all.

In addition to the races, attendees can explore resource tables and a variety of family-friendly activities during the races. Don’t miss out on this fantastic morning of fitness, fun, and festivity. Mark your calendars and join us at Oak Ridge Park on June 8th.

“This event will be a morning filled with fun, fitness, and family-friendly activities, all in the spirit of diversity and inclusion,” said Union County Commissioner Al Mirabella, liaison to the Union County LGBTQ Ad Hoc Committee. “The resource tables will have valuable information for all members of the community, from mental health to education and employment opportunities.”

Other PRIDE events this month include a flag raising on Monday, June 3rd at the Union County Courthouse. Bernie Wagenblast, the speaker of honor, has lived in Union County for all but one year of her life. She is a transportation journalist and the voice for many transit systems in the region, including the MTA Subway.

 For more information about the Union County Office of LGBTQ Affairs, and to register for the 5K and Fun Color Run, please visit ucnj.org/lgbtq. For any questions about these events, please contact Robert Charkowsky, LGBTQ Affairs Coordinator for the County of Union at rcharkowsky@ucnj.org.

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Union County to Hold Annual Portuguese Flag Raising on May 30th

The Union County Board of County Commissioners invites residents to the annual Union County Portuguese Flag Raising Ceremony in commemoration of the Day of Portugal, Camões and the Communities. The event will take place on Thursday, May 30th at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Union County Courthouse, located at 2 Broad Street in Elizabeth. The event is free for all to attend.

“As we join together to we raise the Portuguese flag, we celebrate the rich cultural heritage and the invaluable contributions of our Portuguese community,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “Their hard work and dedication have been instrumental to the diversity and contributions to Union County, and we are honored to recognize and celebrate their enduring legacy.”

The event is being co-sponsored by the Portuguese American Leadership Council of the United States (PALCUS). PALCUS is a national non-profit based in the Washington D.C. area with a defined mission to be the national voice that advocates for and promotes the advancement of the Portuguese-American community economically, professionally, culturally and politically.

“New Jersey is home to nearly 80,000 individuals of Portuguese descent, with approximately 20,000 residing in Union County,” said Commissioner Sergio Granados. “As a Commissioner of Portuguese descent, I take great pride in celebrating the significant contributions of this vibrant and industrious community to our county over the years. I am excited to once again raise the Portuguese flag over the County Seat and I look forward to seeing all of our residents and visitors there.”

The flag-raising will include a short speaking program with welcome remarks from Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded, an invocation by Father Nuno Rocha from Our Lady of Fatima, and remarks by Commissioner Sergio Granados, Katherine Soares Chair, PALCUS  and Carla Rodrigues DaSilva, Conselheira das Comunidades Portuguesas de NJ. In closing, will be the singing of both National Anthems: “The Star Spangled Banner” as well as “A Portuguesa,” the national anthem of Portugal, sung by Soloist Elyana Barroqueiro of the Academy for Performing Arts in Scotch Plains.

“As the sole national organization representing Portuguese-Americans, PALCUS deeply values local initiatives that celebrate and promote Portuguese culture,” said Katherine S. Soares, Chair, Board of Directors, PALCUS. “We are honored to co-sponsor this annual flag raising once again, as it highlights the contributions and achievements of the Portuguese-American community in Union County. PALCUS wishes a Feliz Dia de Portugal to everyone!”

Stay tuned for more Portugal Day festivities around Union County with:

May 31st at 7pm – the City of Elizabeth Flag Raising, 50 Winfield Scott Plaza, Elizabeth, NJ

June 2nd at 2:00 p.m. – The Elizabeth Portugal Day Parade, starting at Union Square on Elizabeth Avenue & ending at the Portuguese Instructive Social Club on Grove Street in Elizabeth. The parade will feature marching bands, folklore dancing groups & decorated floats.

June 10th at 7pm –Portuguese American Civic Association (PACA) of Union Flag Raising, Town Hall, 1976 Morris Avenue, Union, NJ

Friday June 28th from 6pm to 11pm & Saturday, June 29th from 12pm to 11pm – PACA of Union – Dia de Portugal, located at 1034 Jeanette Avenue in Union

For more information, please contact Judith Guest, Community Engagement & Diversity Coordinator at (908) 527-4388 or via email at Judith.Guest@ucnj.org.

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Union County Announces Successful Banding of Four Recently Hatched Peregrine Chicks at the Historic Union County Courthouse Tower

The Union County Board of County Commissioners is celebrating the successful banding of four recently hatched male peregrine chicks at Union County’s Courthouse Tower, located at 2 Broad Street in Elizabeth. These identification bands, along with web cameras installed on the courthouse roof, assist the County and its wildlife preservation partners in carefully tracking the behaviors, whereabouts, and habits of the peregrine falcons, with the hope of better understanding and preserving the species.

“We are delighted to welcome these beautiful new additions to Union County,” said Union County Chairwoman, Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “We appreciate the privilege and responsibility of having this endangered species in the state of NJ living and breeding on our grounds.  We proudly continue our partnership with the NJ Department of Fish & Wildlife and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation in our shared commitment to preserving and protecting our precious wildlife.”

On May 20th, Union County’s Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded, Vice-Chairwoman Lourdes Leon, and County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi, along with personnel from the Trailside Nature and Science Center, judiciary staff, and wildlife preservation partners, NJ Department of Fish & Wildlife and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation, helped place identification bands on four recently-hatched peregrine chicks.

The baby peregrines received a health checkup and were promptly returned to their nest with their attentive parents, Mango and Frida. This adult pair have successfully raised 23 babies on top of the courthouse since 2019.  This brood of falcons will be officially of fledging age in early to mid-June.  

The population of peregrine falcons in the U.S. was severely reduced in the 20th century due to pollutants, including the pesticide DDT. They were added to the federal endangered species list in 1973. As a result of improvements in many parts of the country, the falcons were removed from the federal list in 1999. However, they continue to be an endangered species in New Jersey.  These falcons typically nest on rock cliff ledges; however, peregrine falcons have adapted to use tall buildings in cities such as the Union County Courthouse in Elizabeth.

Union County participated in the restoration effort in 2006, when County personnel, under the guidance of state wildlife experts, affixed a nesting box to the Courthouse Tower roof.

Every year since then, a pair of peregrine falcons has laid eggs in the nesting box. Cameras were installed in 2016 to provide the 24/7 Falcon Cam livestream of the interior and exterior of the nest.

The Union County Board of County Commissioners is proud to support efforts to restore and preserve the population of peregrine falcons in our region. To learn more and see the falcons in action, visit Union County’s free “Falcon Cam” livestream at ucnj.org/falcon

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Union County Clerk Announces Vote by Mail Ballots Are Available

Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi announces that vote by mail ballots are available in her offices in Elizabeth and Westfield for anyone seeking to obtain a Vote-by-Mail ballot for the 2024 Presidential Primary Election.

“I urge residents to exercise their right to vote in the Primary Election. This year, not only are there local races in many municipalities, but there are crucial races on the ballot, including those for U.S. President, US Senate and Congress positions, as well as Union County Commissioners,” said Ms. Rajoppi. “Your vote is your voice, and it matters in shaping the future of our community and our nation.”

Voters who use the County Clerk’s One-Stop service can come to the Elizabeth or Westfield office, apply for their ballot, receive it, fill it out, and deposit it in a secure drop-box on site, all in the same visit. Privacy booths are located at the offices for voters to fill out their ballot.

The office locations and hours are:

Union County Courthouse

  • Located at 2 Broad Street, Room 113, Elizabeth
  • Regular hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm
  • Open on Saturday, June 3, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm for Vote-by-Mail

Colleen Fraser Building

  • Located at 300 North Avenue East (Union County services complex), Westfield
  • Regular hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 8:00am – 7:30pm; Saturday, 9:00am – 1:00pm

For more information about the County Clerk’s election services visit unioncountyvotes.com or contact the Elections Division at 908-527-4996 or ucvote@ucnj.org.

For more information about all County Clerk programs and services, visit online at ucnj.org/county-clerk or call 908-527-4787.

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Union County Clerk Announces Vote By Mail Ballots Are Available

Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi announces that vote by mail ballots are available in her offices in Elizabeth and Westfield for anyone seeking to obtain a Vote-by-Mail ballot for the 2024 Presidential Primary Election.

“I urge residents to exercise their right to vote in the Primary Election. This year, not only are there local races in many municipalities, but there are crucial races on the ballot, including those for U.S. President, US Senate and Congress positions, as well as Union County Commissioners,” said Ms. Rajoppi. “Your vote is your voice, and it matters in shaping the future of our community and our nation.”

Voters who use the County Clerk’s One-Stop service can come to the Elizabeth or Westfield office, apply for their ballot, receive it, fill it out, and deposit it in a secure drop-box on site, all in the same visit. Privacy booths are located at the offices for voters to fill out their ballot.

The office locations and hours are:

Union County Courthouse

  • Located at 2 Broad Street, Room 113, Elizabeth
  • Regular hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm
  • Open on Saturday, June 3, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm for Vote-by-Mail

Colleen Fraser Building

  • Located at 300 North Avenue East (Union County Services Complex), Westfield
  • Regular hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 8:00am – 7:30pm; Saturday, 9:00am – 1:00pm

For more information about the County Clerk’s election services visit unioncountyvotes.com or contact the Elections Division at 908-527-4996 or ucvote@ucnj.org.

For more information about all County Clerk programs and services, visit online at ucnj.org/county-clerk or call 908-527-4787.

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Designation of Jerry Green Memorial Highway

Who: Union County Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded & the Union County Board of County Commissioners
Senate President Nicholas Scutari
Assemblywoman Linda S. Carter, District 22
Wanda Green and Family

What: Designation of Jerry Green Memorial Highway

The State of New Jersey has enacted legislation to designate a portion of State Highway Route 27 in Union County as the “Jerry Green Memorial Highway” to honor the late Assemblyman Jerry Green for his extensive public service and contributions to the state. Born in Roselle, NJ, Green dedicated his life to serving his community and the state. He held various public offices in Union County, including positions on the Union County Planning Board, Union County Utilities Authority, and Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Green was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly in 1991, where he served until his death in 2018, making him the longest-serving member of the Assembly at that time. He passed away on April 18, 2018, leaving behind a legacy of dedicated public service.

When: Wednesday, May 22, 2024
11:00 a.m.

Where: Near the entrance of Warinanco Park
Intersection of Park Avenue and St. Georges Avenue
Linden, NJ

Contact: Kelly Martins, 908-527-4419
Director, Office of Communications & Public Information

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Union County’s Plant Swap and Shop on June 6th Promotes Local Biodiversity

The Union County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to announce an opportunity for residents to participate in a Plant Swap and Shop event, on June 6th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm in the Scout Camping Area of the Watchung Reservation.

“We are thrilled to offer this unique opportunity for Union County residents to actively contribute to the preservation and restoration of our local environment,” Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “By swapping invasive plants for native ones, participants not only help combat the spread of harmful species but also help the growth of native habitats that support our local wildlife. We’re incredibly grateful for our residents’ dedication to creating a healthier, more sustainable Union County.”

Invasive plants, typically not native to the area, can quickly take over if not controlled. They outcompete native plants, making the ecosystem more vulnerable to pests, diseases, and environmental changes. Additionally, they often don’t provide food or habitat for wildlife. By planting various native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses, you’ll attract a wide range of native insects and birds. These creatures rely on these plants for nectar, seeds, and fruit, which keep nature balanced, resilient to changes.

Residents are invited to bring up to three distinct invasive plants and exchange them for up to three native plants, all at no cost. This initiative aims to promote the removal of invasive species from local ecosystems while encouraging the planting of native species, which are vital for supporting biodiversity and enhancing the natural landscape. Examples of invasive plants to bring for the swap are: Japanese barberry, pachysandra, butterfly bush, garlic mustard, porcelain berry, periwinkle, English ivy and Chinese silvergrass. These plants should be dug up recently and brought to the event with their root included in a sealed bag or box. The native plants offered for swap include Blue Cardinal Flower, Dense Blazing Star, Blue False Indigo, Joe Pye Weed, Swamp Sunflower, Swamp Milkweed and Black Eyed Susan.

In addition to the plant swap, participants will have the opportunity to shop for native plants at the event, courtesy of Toadshade Native Plant Nursery. Toadshade is a plant nursery in Frenchtown that specializes in native, perennial, propagated wildflower plants. Pre-orders through the Toadshade website at http://www.toadshade.com are recommended for convenient pickup at the event.

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for all attendees, pre-registration for the event is required, with a maximum of 100 registrants accepted. Residents can register by visiting www.ucnj.org/plant-swap. For more information about native plants in Union County, please download our free guide: “Plant This, not That.” Questions about the Plant Swap and Shop on June 6th should be directed to park.env.services@ucnj.org.