A bureaucratic bungle that may impact the outcome of Montclair’s local election has got residents and candidates perplexed and p-o’d. After weeks of campaigning, and just days before the May 13 vote, more than 160 registered “4th Ward” voters were emailed a notice this week telling them they actually reside in the 3rd Ward. Never mind that the ward lines were redrawn in 2000, and there was an election in 2004 – this is the first notice to be sent out, and they’re going to enforce it. From The Star Ledger:
“How the hell can you say that?” asked David Herron, who has called the 4th Ward home for a quarter-century and is the former president of the Montclair chapter of the NAACP. “You can’t disenfranchise people in the 11th hour.”
R√®nee Baskerville, one of four candidates vying for the 4th Ward seat on Montclair’s council in the May 13 municipal election, fired off a letter to Essex County officials saying the realignment will cause “irreparable harm” to the voters and the candidates.
“That can actually swing an election when it’s this close,” said Baskerville, who said she thinks she had lined up about 30 votes in an apartment house no longer counted as part of the 4th Ward. “To me, the reasonable thing would be to say, ‘We’ll correct this for the next election.’ … Why now?”