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Trick or treat – give me vote by mail ballots to eat

Although much of Hoboken will be focused on Halloween fun with kid’s activities the centerpiece of much time and energy this weekend, another trick or treat will be under the microscope today at the Hudson County Board of Elections – vote by mail ballots.

Although an all encompassing suit from the Lenz for Council campaign seeking to sequester the vote by mail ballots was not granted, the claim of the suit being “bogus” as stated by Occhipinti’s lawyer is inaccurate on its face.

If true, there wouldn’t be a very interested gathering today at the Board of Elections to review The Anomaly – a near mathematical impossibility of how Tim Occhipinti managed to get dozens and dozens of his ‘campaign workers’ to mysteriously all request and return to a person vote by mail ballots.  The work required fits the description of a no show job or in this case a no vote at the poll job.

The rather sticky situation was punted in some respects by the judge who said insufficient evidence was presented to grant the Lenz campaign request “at this time” while another mechanism is available – the Elections Board review.

While much of Hoboken is preparing for weekend activities, a war will be going on around the 79 ballots between the two campaigns.  If it was as bogus as Occhipinti’s legal counsel claimed, everyone would be out trick or treating, not examining paper ballots. 

For some, the trick or treating has come early.  

Related: Katie Colaneri provided a good local picture (overlooking the headline editors) with her story yesterday for the Jersey Journal with the key quote:

“Right now it’s in the hands of the superintendent of elections…,” Judge Maurice Gallipoli said in court this afternoon. “Certainly the ballots should not be sequestered… at this point in time.”

Talking Ed Note: the bomb thrown by the Lenz for Council campaign is incomplete but the battle is hardly over.  This is going to be contested and fought on the individual level of ballots, and it begins today between 8-10 am.

As MSV had stated leading into this election, several hundred votes by one candidate or another in absentees, now called vote by mail might prove to be a hill too high to overcome.  The skirmish over the Occhipinti ‘worker’s’ ballots today is only a precursor to the hundreds more of his to come.  There’s 569 vote by mail ballot applications made, an absurdly high amount by historical standards in this fourth ward election.

Expect a battle of public words to emerge. One side will be saying in effect “look at this” and the other will be saying to even do so is an act of “voter suppression.”  Some of them will even have once been part of the reform movement in Hoboken.  They will see no irony now in the company they keep.  They are all “with Tim.”

Councilman Mike Russo (c) and Hoboken411 ghostwriter Lane Bajardi hug it out.  

A source close to the Lenz campaign indicated this legal battle would be costly and those who wished to take on the fight should do so with financial support to Lenz for Council.

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