Help bring back runoff elections

Dear Editor:

As a Hoboken resident for the past 18 years, I have seen Hoboken grow into the ever changing, energetic and proactive city that we know and love. As part of this metamorphosis, Hoboken drew on its rich history of long term and multigenerational residents that called Hoboken their home. As a fellow resident, I have become increasingly concerned over the municipal election results in Hoboken over the past five years.

Since the elimination of ‘run-off’ elections in 2013, regardless of candidate preference, officials have taken office without receiving the majority of the popular vote in that election. The best example of this is our last mayoral election in 2017. During that election, we were asked to choose from a crowded field of six candidates. In the end, our mayor was elected with 32 percent of votes, 68 percent voting against.

The purpose of ‘run-off’ elections is to narrow the candidate field to the two candidates with the most votes and therefore, best represent the opinions and wishes of the majority of voters. The elected official is then chosen from this field of two candidates in a second vote. It is my opinion that this election method best represents the majority and the wishes of our fellow voting residents. A person shouldn’t be elected unless they attain at least 50 percent of the eligible votes.

Run-off elections existed in Hoboken for almost 100 years before being eliminated in 2013. They were eliminated to make it possible for a candidate to get elected with less than 50 percent of the votes. On Nov. 6, we have the power to have our voices heard by voting to reinstate the run-off election method in Hoboken.

Vote “Yes” on Municipal Question 1.

Michael J. Tennaro