Franklin Park Resident Becomes First African-American To Lead State Election Officials

Jerry L. Midgette

Franklin Park resident Jerry L. Midgette, the Somerset County Elections Administrator, became the first African-American elected president of the New Jersey Association of Election Officials.
Photo: Somerset County

Franklin Park resident Jerry L. Midgette, the Somerset County Election Administrator, is the first African-American elected president of the New Jersey Association of Election Officials.

Midgette’s election came during the NJAEO’s annual conference on March 18 in Atlantic City.

Midgette, a former election lawyer, is also the first Somerset County election official to lead the organization, according to a press release on the election.

“It is truly a great professional honor for me to be elected unanimously as president of the NJAEO by my friends and colleagues,” Midgette said in the release. “It is with a profound sense of gratitude, pride and humility that I accede to this leadership role of great responsibility.”

Midgette has been a member of NJAEO since 2006 and has held a variety of positions within the organization, including chair of the Nominating Committee, By-Laws Committee and Legislative and Legal Committee, according to the release.

Midgette led a review of the association’s by-laws, which culminated in the full membership voting and adopting all the proposed amendments recommended by his committee, the release said. He also initiated the effort to implement a more formal and transparent process for identifying and recommending qualified candidates to the membership to be nominated, elected and ultimately to serve as officers-at-large, the release said.

Midgette also participated in reviewing and commenting on countless bills and pieces of legislation for their potential impact on the election administration process in general and county election officials in particular, according to the release He has attended many legislative hearings and provided testimony on behalf of the association as well as Somerset County.

Midgette said his three goals as president of the organization are “developing and promoting legislation to strengthen existing election laws while also expanding early-voting opportunities for New Jersey voters; exploring and demonstrating the efficacy of new voting systems to facilitate the election administration process; and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of disseminating important election information to members and the general public,” according to the release.

“It has always been of paramount importance to the NJAEO’s membership to protect the voting rights of all New Jersey residents eligible to vote by ensuring both the accuracy and integrity of all elections,” he said in the release.  “Cooperating and collaborating with government officials in carrying out the provisions of New Jersey election laws has been of critical importance as well.  I am personally and deeply committed to the continuation of this important organizational legacy.”

“As a society, we have sacrificed greatly to establish and protect the voting franchise of every American,” Midgette said in the release.  “Unfortunately, there still remains much work to be done.”

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