Friday, November 9, 2012

Councilman Bhalla: 'The Good, the Bad, the VBM fraud'

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Dear Neighbors,
  
I have good news, and bad news.

       The good news is that on Election Day this Tuesday, Hoboken residents cast their votes in favor of ALL the local initiatives advocated by Mayor Dawn Zimmer and myself. The Kids First team won at the voting booths, voters chose to consolidate elections to a single day in November, and rejected an amendment to the rent control ordinance. This summer and fall, we worked hard to register 750 new voters, hundreds of which voted for the first time on Tuesday. So congratulations and thank you for making your voice heard!

        The bad news is that this even though Election Day has passed, the election is not over, and this election can still be stolen. I kid you not.

        This year, as you may also know, due to Hurricane Sandy, the State of New Jersey is allowing voters who requested a ballot by email or fax by 5:00 p.m. on Election Day to still cast their ballot by 8 p.m. on Friday, November 9th.

         So here is my request to you: if you requested a ballot by mail or fax and still have not returned your ballot, please do so no later than 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 9th, so that your vote counts! This is an important means to combat possible fraud and secure the victories we achieved on Tuesday!

        In doing so, I would again ask you to cast your vote for Jean Marie Mitchell, Thomas Kleupfel and Ruth McCallister for School Board, vote YES on Hoboken Local Questions 1 & 3, and vote NO on Hoboken Local Question 2.

Here are the instructions from the Hudson County Clerk:

"Complete the application and return the application to us via fax (201-369-3478) or e-mail (countyclerk@hcnj.us or hrosario@hcnj.us ). Your application must have a valid, original signature. E-signatures, or typed names are not acceptable."

       Please share this message with your friends.

       Why do I say that this election can still be stolen?  Here's why: there is an ongoing cancer in Hoboken's electoral democracy.  It's called absentee ballot fraud. To those of you new to Hoboken politics, absentee ballots are referred to in New Jersey by the euphemism "Vote By Mail".  Several years ago, the State of New Jersey, with good intentions, wanted to make it easier for voters to cast their votes, so they allowed voters to cast absentee ballots, or vote by mail, for any reason, even if they were not away on election day.  Many, many residents vote by mail in a proper manner and for legitimate reasons.

            Unfortunately however, in Hoboken there are truly nefarious political operatives that have abused the "Vote By Mail" option by engaging in widespread absentee ballot fraud. In my involvement in politics, I have witnessed two city elections stolen with the use of fraudulent absentee ballots. We are doing everything in our power to make sure this does not happen again, and pledge to remain vigilant in the coming days.

            I sincerely thank you for your patience as we move forward with this process. Again, if you have requested to vote by email or fax and have not returned your ballot, please remember to do so by 8:00 p.m. this Friday, November 9th.           

Sincerely,

Ravi S. Bhalla
Councilman-at-Large