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VBM turnout very light in Hudson

North Bergen, Weehawken school board candidates unopposed

By David Wildstein, May 08 2020 4:14 pm

Vote-by-mail ballots are coming in slowly in Hudson County, where Democratic party leaders have said voters prefer to go to the polls to cast their votes.

Hudson has no real contests in next all-VBM elections, where school board candidates in North Bergen and Weehawken are running unopposed.

North Bergen voters have returned 2,039 mail-in ballots as of close of business on Thursday, about 6% of the total local electorate.   Turnout in Weehawken is at 7%.

In West New York, when no candidates are on the ballot and voters are being asked to consider a budget referendum, just 2% of vote-by-mail ballots have been returned so far.   West New York holds Board of Education elections in November.

North Bergen and Weehawken are also seeking voter approval of school budgets.

Turnout in the North Bergen school board election in 2019 was 10%.  It was 4% in Weehawken.

Incumbents Luis Diaz, Claudia Baselice and Kanaiyalal Patel are seeking re-election in North Bergen.

In 2018, a slate of school board candidates backed by Mayor/State Sen. Nicholas Sacco crushed their opponents by a 10-1 margin.  Voters picked out the three Sacco-backed candidates – all unbracketed on the ballot – out of 23 contenders.

In Weehawken, incumbents John Cannata and Noelberto Sanchez are running for re-election.  Richard Pinal is seeking the seat of Mark Denfeld, who is not seeking re-election.

Weehawken must also pick a replacement for Board of Education President Richard Barsa, who died last month of complications related to COVID-19.

Gov. Phil Murphy ordered local elections be conducted entirely by mail to reduce large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.  The election was originally set for April, but will now be held on May 12.

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