Hoboken City Council Passes DeFusco-sponsored Ordinance to allow Referendum on Runoff Elections
Hoboken, NJ – Last night the Hoboken City Council voted 7-2 in favor of an ordinance sponsored by Councilman Mike DeFusco that will place a referendum on next year’s general election ballot allowing Hoboken voters to decide whether or not to return runoff elections to the city. If the referendum passes, runoffs would be held starting in 2019 in local elections where no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, a situation that occurred in the recent election for Mayor and Council.
“I thank my Council colleagues for approving this measure and recognizing the need to give our neighbors the choice to decide whether or not to bring back runoff elections,” said Councilman DeFusco. “It is disappointing to see Mayor-elect Bhalla and Councilman Doyle vote to deny voters this opportunity to choose how our elections will be run, but it’s not surprising because the lack of runoffs always benefits establishment politicians. It’s this desire to preserve the status quo that stops young people from getting involved, and that’s why I believe reinstating runoff elections is essential to bringing new energy and new ideas to our political discourse.”
Hoboken held runoffs in local elections until the city moved the contests from May to November before the 2013 race and runoffs were also eliminated at that time by public referendum. Many residents have since expressed disappointment with the lack of majority vote and confusion with the original referendum process, which occurred simultaneously with another public question moving the election to November. A new, stand-alone referendum will allow residents to make an informed choice about how to conduct local elections.