Helping 4th Ward Voters

It may surprise some folks to know that there is no constitutionally-protected right to vote.


Sure, we have Amendments  to the U.S. Constitution that prohibit discrimination based on race (15th), sex (19th) and age (26th),  but no actual right to vote exists.
Because there is no right to vote in the U.S. Constitution, individual states set their own electoral policies and procedures. This leads to confusing and sometimes contradictory policies regarding ballot design, polling hours, voting equipment, voter registration requirements, and ex-felon voting rights. As a result, our electoral system is divided into 50 states, more than 3,000 counties and approximately 13,000 voting districts, all separate and unequal.
Here in Hoboken we are living with separate and unequal.

With 6 different voting wards, each divided into districts, some vote in schools or in their buildings: Church Towers and Marineview, for example.  For most the process is reasonable- one doesn't have to stand in prohibitively long lines and enough (working) machines are provided.

Well,  guess what? 

The 4th Ward has the largest number of registered voters by far- 2,500.  And 4-2 has about 3 times the number of voters that state law permits (500-750).   

GA has heard that voting in 4-2, is HELLISH.  There's no polling place there so voters go to a polling place in 4-3, which is (naturally) badly overcrowded.   Long, slow, lines.   Up to an hour or MORE wait.

If that's not bad enough, I've heard stories of what I call 'passive voter suppression';  Challengers who excessively nit-pick in order to slow the lines, making them LONGER so voters get disgusted and LEAVE.

This is common tactic used in parts of the 4th Ward that are known Zimmer strongholds to suppress the Reform vote.  And I've heard 2 separate eyewitness accounts about one Challenger in particular, who was excessively aggressive and slowed down the lines- Lane Bajardi.

What a surprise. 

Well... what to do about this nightmare?

Mayor Zimmer and David Mello to the rescue!

They have filed a LAWSUIT against the County (wooo-hooo!) with hopes that 2 new districts will be added to the 4th Ward before the 2012 presidential election.


From the Mayor's Press Release earlier today and posted on Da Horsey:
In order to ensure that voters in Southwest Hoboken are not again forced to wait in hour long lines at the polls in the upcoming Presidential election, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, City Councilman Dave Mello and two other residents of Hoboken' s 4th Ward,2nd district, filed a lawsuit (docket # C-4-12) seekingto compel Hudson County to comply with State law and to reduce the size of District 4-2.

Mayor Zimmer explained that she felt it was critical that this problem be addressed immediately, given the large turnout that will certainly occur during the upcoming Presidential election. "In 2008 and 2009, 4-2 residents were forced to wait in unacceptably long lines in order to exercise their right to vote," said Mayor Zimmer. "The law is clear, and we must complywith the law and fix the problem now before the Presidential election coming up in November."
You go girl- and boy.

Frankly, I don't see how this could be denied, do you?  What could the counter-argument be?

More 4th Ward voter capacity, a streamlined painless process...

GA is waiting to hear 4th ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti's ringing endorsement of this effort to enforce election law in his Ward and encourage more to vote by adding new districts and providing polling places for each.

What do you say, Timmy?


  1. Tim Occhipinti's failure to engage on this issue will very shortly transition from odd to scandalous. This is his Ward. His motto is "Fourth Ward First." So where the eff is he? 4th Ward voters are getting screwed over. Yes, we know why he (and Ruben Ramos) want things to stay exactly the way they are. But politically how can he get away with saying nothing about the illegal suppression of election day voting rights for his constituents? Not as important as grandstanding on the natural gas pipeline? We'll see. It's not going away. I hope a 4th Ward resident takes him to task at the next available very public opportunity. I suspect they will.

  2. Maybe he's trying to figure out if he's a 4th ward resident.


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