Hoboken 5th Ward Council candidate Melissa Blanco has been disqualified from the November 3 election after the city clerk’s office deemed that her petitions for nomination did not have enough valid signatures from registered voters in her ward.
Hoboken Deputy Clerk Jerry Lore confirmed with Hudson County View that Blanco had been removed from the ballot, adding that 5th Ward Council candidates needed just 59 valid signatures, or one percent of the registered voters in the ward, to make the ballot.
He also stated that no other candidates have been disqualified or removed from the ballot.
Blanco stated all of her 80 signatures submitted were valid by “New Jersey case law,” later stating “not being on the ballot might not be so bad.”
“The rationale for using eligible voters for petitioning is as simple as the Democratic process. The registered, and not yet registered, eligible voters, have full access to participation of the Democratic process in all stages of elections,” she said over the phone.
“New Jersey supports the use of case law on eligible voters to be distinctly different than registered voters … If my name’s not on the ballot, I don’t mind being a bit of a dark horse. Not being on the ballot might not be so bad.”
She also questioned who developed the petitions for nomination in Hoboken, stating it was different from the one’s produced from the state. The state board of elections could not immediately be reached for comment on the matter.
On Monday, outside city hall shortly after petitions were due, Blanco told Hudson County View she was running to “take a stand for the Constitution, our federal laws and state laws,” stating after the fact that she was suffering from heat exhaustion – which also impaired her ability to gather her petitions.
5th Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham now goes toe-to-toe with former Hoboken Housing Authority Commissioner Eduardo Gonzalez in the race.