Jersey City Council takes first step to move 2017 municipal elections


After a non-binding referendum narrowly won at the polls last week, the Jersey City Council approved the first reading of a measure that would move the 2017 municipal elections from May to November – though not everyone in the audience was thrilled about the possible change. 


Last night, the council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would change the date of the regular municipal elections from the second Tuesday in May to the day of the general elections in November, which would take effect in 2017.

Ward C Councilman Rich Boggiano and Ward D Councilman Michael Yun voted no, but the measure still passed 7-2.

A non-binding referendum won by a slim margin of 52 percent to 48 percent in last week’s ballot question.

Boggiano, a frequent critic of Mayor Steven Fulop who has already expressed an interest in running for mayor in 2017, explained why he no longer supports moving the general election.

During the public portion of the meeting, Jersey City resident Barbara Camacho argued that it would be “self-serving” for Fulop to extend his first term as mayor by six months, also pointing out that Ward A – where she lives – voted down the ballot question in what she considered a first for the ward in going against the grain.

Bill Matsikoudis, corporation counsel under Mayor Jerramiah Healy – who also represented five plaintiffs in a lawsuit that changed the language of the municipal election ballot question – also questioned the strength of the election results and how much money the city would really save by moving the election.

Additionally, he seconded Boggiano’s assessment of last week’s election, where less than 10 percent of Jersey City voters came out to the polls, as proof that November elections don’t automatically make for a solid turnout.

Fulop’s office has previously pointed out that he has advocated for moving the municipal election since 2010 and has scoffed at the notion that this is happening so that he could run for re-election in November of 2017 in the event that he loses the Democratic primary for the governor’s race in June of the same year.

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