An association of 15 Hoboken property owners who support eliminating city rent control protections will challenge the results of last month's status quo-affirming ballot referendum on the grounds that nearly 300 mail-in ballots were not counted, the group said in a statement Thursday.
For the second consecutive year, the Mile Square Taxpayers Association will dispute election day referendum returns on the grounds that a potentially consequential number of residents were denied the right to vote.
“The purpose of the petition is to have all legitimate votes counted,” MSTA attorney Charles Gormally said in a statement. “We are going to get to the bottom of why registered voters, some of whom delivered their own ballot to the County Board of Elections, were denied the opportunity to vote.”
If the group's petition to wipe out the vote returns is successful, it could mean a third appearance on the ballot for the MSTA's vacancy decontrol proposal.
The group's proposal, which would have allowed the owners of condos and residential buildings with four or fewer units to re-negotiate rents upon vacancy, failed to garner enough votes when it appeared before residents last year, but returned to the ballot this November after a judge overturned the results.
The MSTA's legal challenge of this year's referendum, which failed by 122 votes, will be the subject of a trial in Jersey City Superior Court on Jan. 21, according to the group's statement.