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Letters-to-the-Editor & Commentary

Sleepy Hollow Should Move Elections to November

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March 8, 2024

Letter to the editor of Hudson Independent

Sleepy Hollow voters have a chance to decide during our upcoming March 19 election whether they want to move our annual Village elections from March to November, in addition to voting for three trustees out of a field of six candidates. Westchester municipal elections have all moved to November except for Bronxville, Elmsford, Pleasantville, Port Chester, Rye Brook and us. Hastings-on-Hudson was the most recent municipality to put up a proposition to move elections to November in 2022: it passed by an overwhelming 88% in favor. With so many new residents in Sleepy Hollow, people don’t even know there is a March Village election, so they automatically lose their voices. If one compares the Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown 2022 Village election turnout, approximately 4,600 people participated in selecting the Tarrytown trustees in their November election while fewer than 372 voters turned out to elect our Sleepy Hollow elected officials. Without the benefit of nine days of early voting, as we have in November elections, Sleepy Hollow residents must show up on election day or go through the manual process of securing an absentee ballot. People are busy, and we joke that voting is practically a part time job what with school board, primary, general and village elections. And, if we’re diligent, the research on candidates and ballot initiatives before you even enter the voting booth. Obviously, it’s an added taxpayer cost to run a separate village election. Based on the Westchester County Board of Elections data, each Sleepy Hollow vote on average costs over $38 in our low turnout Village elections. we appreciate anyone who runs for and serves a public office. Our March election cycle gives the candidate just a few weeks to meet voters between collecting petition signatures to get on the ballot and the actual election. Once elected and sworn in in early April, the new trustee or mayor with very little time on the job then must produce a budget by the end of the month. We think it is a disservice to our board as well as to residents. Let’s maximize voter participation while reducing the number of times we must remember to go to the polls.

 

Gina Carey, Marjorie Hsu, Sleepy Hollow residents

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