Jersey City can’t do away with runoff elections

JERSEY CITY – Although Jersey City will be allowed to put a referendum on the November ballot that would give voters a choice of ether or not to move elections from May to November, the city cannot do away with runoff elections.
This week, Superior Court Judge Hector R. Velazquez said Jersey City’s form of government will not allow voters to do away with run offs the way Hoboken did.
Currently, candidates must get 50 percent of the overall vote plus one vote in order to avoid an election. If no one gets a clear majority in the election, the top two vote-getters run again in a run off to determine the winner.
The move in Hoboken is largely credited with allowing Mayor Dawn Zimmer to retain her seat as mayor as the result of a three-way race in 2013.
Velazquez also said the Fulop Administration had to strip the referendum of suggestive language such as saying “voters are weary” from too many elections each year.
If approved by voters, the municipal election would shift from May to June for the 2017 election and would allow Mayor Steven Fulop to run both in the Democratic Primary in June for Governor, and then if he loses, possibly run for reelection as mayor.

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