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Petition Action Underway to Put November Elections on the Ballot

The council voted to move municipal elections to November, but a group of Hoboken citizens is gathering petitions to put the issue on the ballot.

After the city council decided (they're currently held in May), a group of Hoboken residents is trying to put the issue on the ballot, with the intent of having the people of Hoboken vote on the issue.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer signed the law into effect on Monday, after which a new committee started gathering signatures to get the issue on the  ballot in the form of a public referendum.

In order to have the referendum, The Committee To Let the People Decide—which is what the residents behind this initiative are calling themselves—needs 2189 signatures.

As of Wednesday morning, "we're about a quarter of the way there," said Alex Habib, who is close to the members of the committee. Habib works for Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, who is rumored to run for mayor in 2013. Habib said he is not involved with this issue on behalf of Ramos.

During Wednesday's council meeting, Third Ward Councilman Michael Russo proposed to wait to vote on the matter until after a referendum, but his idea was voted down.

Zimmer, who is a proponent of the move, said a referendum is "part of a democratic process, they have every right to do that."

Moving municipal elections to November, means that the terms of all current council members will be extended by six months. If the measure goes through, elections will be held in November 2013 for the at-large councilmembers and in November 2015 for the ward representatives.

"It’s just about letting the people decide, that’s really it," said Jamie Cryan, who is part of the new found committee. , said he is involved in this issue in his capacity as a private Hoboken citizen, not on behalf of the party.

"This isn't against any one particular person," Cryan said. "It's just too big of a decision."

Other members of the committee are Hobokenites Jennifer Kleinman, Jennifer Grace, former council candidate and former mayoral candidate and local developer .

The reason to change the elections to November is to increase voter participation, according to At last week's council meeting, Fifth Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham said that Hobokenites suffer from "voter fatigue."

Some other members of the community, however, said that more voters doesn't necessarily mean that the voters are more informed or care about Hoboken issues. Another concern is that the ballot would be too confusing in November, because of the amount of people running.

"It'd be too confusing for seniors," Cryan said.

Members of the committee gathered signatures at the earlier this week and has until Aug. 12 to gather the rest. If accepted by the clerk's office, the issue will likely be put on the ballot in November.

The referendum, Cryan added, is not to stop the municipal elections from being moved.

"I don’t have an opinion either way, May or November: either way doesn’t bother me," he said. The petition action, he added, is to get the input from the people of Hoboken.

"There’s public hearings on everything in this city but not on extending an election? I don’t understand it," Cryan said.

Karen O'Shea August 09, 2011 at 01:41 PM
Years ago I loved the idea of a referendum, in today's Hoboken no need because of the sketchy characters who collect VBM, the decision has been made to move the elections to November. Its a good thing!
cassandra August 09, 2011 at 02:56 PM
As I see it, your argument is " a referendum is not ok because money may taint it; " by that logic no election is ok. Rubbish! Your only concern is that the referendum may pass.
Redrider765 August 09, 2011 at 02:59 PM
No, your argument is rubbish b/c you and the people who support a referendum REFUSE to let the people decide things in elections already. You just buy votes. You don't want and never wanted a free and fair election. That is why the FBI and AG are in town you fool.
Karen O'Shea August 09, 2011 at 03:16 PM
FBI have been here for a looong time. What a difference a great mayor makes.
Keating Five August 10, 2011 at 03:05 PM
Those new and hardworking residents frequently vote by mail. Are you calling them sketchy?

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