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Gristy lunchtime chewables on the 4th ward election

Hoboken’s fourth ward election thought to be on the lower side of turnout since there’s no larger local and statewide runs driving interest looks surprising strong early in a key battleground demographic.

In the 4-2, considered the home base of Mayor Dawn Zimmer, a strong early morning turnout is evident.  Typically the 4-2 has a preponderance of its vote in the evening.  A strong morning turnout may indicate there’s strong awareness of the special election among voters.

No conclusion can be made on how those votes are divided but the 4-2 has been historically a stronghold of reform minded voters.

Candidates go to vote with the media in tow and today was no different.  Tim Occhipinti went to 221 Jackson Street earlier to register his vote.  The tables in that location were divided for two districts, the 4-2 and the 4-3.

For some reason, Occhipinti went to the table for the 4-2 with the media all ready to do their usual candidate photo op except for one problem.  Occhipinti doesn’t live in the 4-2.

The poll workers instructed Occhipinti to go to the 4-3 table so he could sign in and cast his vote.  Poll workers were laughing in disbelief a city council candidate doesn’t even know his own voting district.

Apparently, that wasn’t in the binder either.  Mike Lenz is confirmed as also voting today, but without the humorous aside.

Occhipinti HQ: home of paper ballots

Of great interest in today’s fourth ward special election, MSV can confirm the final totals for vote by mail (absentee) ballots is easily the highest ever in the fourth ward!  Where even in a city wide election there’s a range in the area of several hundred ballpark, the outstanding final ballots requested in this much smaller special election has reached over 600!

That figure represents only actual ballot applications, not returns.  But it’s a figure that is causing concern for different reasons on both sides.

That’s the exact figure quoted by an unnamed Hoboken election watcher on PolitickerNJ’s earlier story who predicted that figures means “someone going to jail.”  So now, there’s even greater attention on this Hoboken election and it’s not just within Hudson County.

In the same PolitickerNJ story, Occhipinti says he has nothing to do with a vote by mail campaign.  He’s quoted as saying, “I’m personally not pushing absentees.”

In the 2007 legendary hand to hand battle between Dawn Zimmer and Chris Campos, each of the candidates received 13 and 21 percent of their vote via absentee votes in a fourth ward election dogfight.

Many critics of Dawn Zimmer including diehard loyalists to Beth Mason vehemently point to those absentees as being more than suspicious.  Ironically, some of those same Mason supporters are now hard at work on Tim Occhipinti’s campaign. (Da Horsey had some confidential email exchanges with one who mentioned getting together for a beer but who would never comment on a question repeatedly posed if he has any concern Occhipinti might generate several hundred paper ballots in this election.)

Well nowwwwww!  It appears Tim Occhipinti is going to blow away any expectations about what percentage of his vote will come by paper ballots today.

More to come.

Photo: A picture in front of the Occhipinti HQ at dawn.  An illegally parked van for the campaign sits on the street outside blocking Observer Highway traffic.

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