I am opposed to bringing back old school run-offs to the City of Hoboken and will be voting “No” on municipal question No.1 on Nov. 6.
When I first arrived to Hoboken in 2002, my husband and I were both surprised that in some years there were three different elections to vote in! One in November, one in May and often a runoff in June. I consider myself to be an educated voter and always vote, but even I felt somewhat overwhelmed by number of elections that were occurring.
Only six years ago in 2012 the voters of Hoboken voted to end run-offs by almost 60 percent (9,191 voted in favor). The idea is to engage larger voter turnout by minimizing the sheer number of elections – three in one year is quite a lot! This new ballot measure would bring them back a month after the November election, smack dab in the middle of the holiday season. We don’t want an election decided by less people at the polls, we want the biggest turnout we can get and that’s what we should be working to support.
Not only do run-off elections cost the taxpayer more money, but it’s easy to forget that it also costs the candidates more money. If we’re really interested in getting more people to run, this makes their financial burden even more difficult.
The real answer here is Ranked Choice Voting, or “Instant Run-offs” which unfortunately New Jersey has yet to approve. Do not be fooled: Question No.1 is not for Instant Run-offs. It is an attempt to bring back an antiquated run-off system that the voters clearly rejected just six short years ago. Our city should be focused on making Ranked Choice Voting a reality, rather than expending energy on this flawed ballot measure.