Above: Aaron Tzvi Rabiner
Votes Opened; Hasidic Candidate Now Leads By 9
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
23 of the 41 sealed affidavits and absentee ballots from the March 18 Bloomingburg, New York village election were opened and counted yesterday, the Times Herald-Record reported.
The hasidic candidate Aaron Tzvi Rabiner now leads incumbent Katherine Roemer by nine votes.
Roemer's lawyer reportedly called the election was "tainted,” and attorneys for both Rabiner and Roemer will appear before Sullivan County, New York Supreme Court Judge Stephan Schick.
Rabiner, a supporter of Modern Orthodox developer Shalom Lamm, picked up 15 or the 23 votes counted by the Sullivan County Board of Elections.
Roemer, an opponent of Lamm's 396-home high density townhouse development marketed as a hasidic shtetl, got the remaining 8 allowed votes. Ten other ballots were thrown out because of defects while eight were reportedly challenged by Roemer's lawyer, Alan Goldston.
In February, the Board of Elections notified 184 registered village voters, more than 160 of them hasidim, that their voter registrations had been invalidated. Many had no valid residences in the tiny 420-person village or had other issues which precluded voting.
Hasidim filed a federal class action lawsuit against the Board of Elections for alleged religious discrimination, and Schick, the state court judge, also intervened and the board was compelled to allow two dozen disqualified voters to vote.
Goldston said that decision was incorrect and altered the results of this most recent election.
“The question is whether we have a tainted election with a large number of people who shouldn’t have voted,” Goldston said.
However, Thomas Garry, Rabiner’s attorney, claimed victory.
“Math is math. The election is finished,” Garry reportedly said.