Councilman Peter Cunningham: Hoboken Runoff Election Referendum
Dear Neighbors and Friends,
Much has been discussed over the last two months concerning whether or not we should put a referendum on the ballot for the voters to decide on reinstating runoff elections in Hoboken. To be clear, the council is not voting to reinstate the runoff. It would be decided by a vote of the people. Unfortunately, those who do not support runoffs are perpetuating the notion that runoffs encourage “voter fraud.” Data shows that this is simply not accurate as all elections are subject to this problem. Fraud is committed whether the vote is on the first ballot or the runoff ballot.
We do need to focus our efforts on “voter fraud”, and I hope that it will be high priority of Mayor Bhalla particularly given his strong relationship with Governor Murphy and the newly-appointed New Jersey Attorney General.
The campaign rhetoric from the last mayoral campaign was particularly divisive and was not representative of how our city has progressed. The amount of negative campaign literature hitting our mail boxes diminished the importance of the many local issues that should have been at the center of our debate. In the end, the issues were not fully discussed, and Hoboken elected a mayor with less than 33% of the vote.
Five years ago, we moved our elections to November and eliminated the runoff. The Council is now faced with a new reality, and our responsibility is to carefully consider how to respond. To that end, the Council will vote to ask Hoboken citizens to decide, and a referendum will offer you that opportunity.
Thank you for your comments for and against the referendum, and please pass this along to your neighbors and friends. I am always happy to hear from you.