In a landslide, Hoboken residents voted overwhelming to bring back runoff elections by a margin of nearly 3-to-1, bringing the initiative back into effect for 2019.
“Tonight an overwhelming 70% margin of Hoboken residents voted not for a candidate, but for the principles of majority rule, democratic elections and honest government,” 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco said in a statement.
“These results represent a mandate for change in our city, and I look forward to working with the City Council to realize that goal. It’s disappointing that Mayor Bhalla and his allies decided to oppose this common sense measure, but it’s inspiring to see thousands of Hobokenites make the right choice at the ballot.”
Although voters elected to eliminate runoffs in 2012, they were very enthusiastic in reinstating the initiative yesterday: with 10,702 votes in favor, and 3,905 against, without provisional votes or vote-by-mail ballots tallied.
Needless to say, neither of those tallies will matter.
“I think the results show that most of Hoboken felt like I did, which was this vote was a referendum on last year’s election and runoffs give Hoboken the opportunity to have more city residents have a say in our future leaders,” said 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher.
Mayor Ravi Bhalla, who was elected last year with roughly 32 percent of the vote, had opposed the initiative citing “massive vote buying,” though he did not run a full fledged campaign on the issue like DeFusco did.
Well-known Hoboken politico Frank Raia, arguably the most prominent non-elected official in the Mile Square City, was indicted on vote-by-mail-fraud one week ago.