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Lorraine Reynolds. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Ridgewood VBM turnout at 16%

By David Wildstein, May 11 2020 10:07 pm

Voters in Ridgewood have already returned 1,409 vote-by-mail ballots – a nearly 16% turnout in the first all-VBM contest that combines race for village council and board of education on May 12.

That number is considerably less than the 5,698 votes who turned out in the May 2016 election and the 4,941 votes cast in May 2018.

Five candidates are seeking three seats on the council.  Councilwoman Bernadette Coghlan-Walsh as the only incumbent seeking re-election, along with Zoning Board chairman Sergio Alegre, Muslim Society of Ridgewood Imam Mahmoud Hamza, attorney Pamela Perron, and activist Lorraine Reynolds.

Mayor Ramon Hache is instead running for Bergen County Freeholder and Jeffrey Voigt is not running again.

Walsh served one term on the village council before giving up her seat to run for freeholder in 2014. She returned to local government two years later, winning the third seat on the council by  1,808 votes.

Three seats are also up on the Ridgewood Board of Education. Dan Creed, Saurabh Dani and Michael Lembo are competing for two three-year terms, while incumbent Muhammad Mahmoud, appointed to fill a vacancy last year, faced HunJu Kwak for a one-year unexpired term.

Turnout in the April 2019 school board race was 2,473.

VBM ballots postmarked by 8 PM tomorrow will be counted if they arrive at the Bergen County Board of Elections by close of business on Thursday.

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