Thursday, September 12, 2013

Questionable Voter Campaign Aimed At New York City's Orthodox Jewish Williamsburg Residents

The Gothamist on Tuesday reported on a questionable get-out-the-vote campaign in New York City's Orthodox Jewish enclave of Williamsburg that includes a promise to enter those who vote into a raffle for $250 cash prizes and gift certificates.  Not far from polling locations, workers staff a table featuring signs mostly in Yiddish backing a favored slate of candidates. Apparently families of area yeshiva students were mailed cards entitling them to be entered in the raffle if they return the cards to these workers after they vote. Cards were also available from a van near polling stations. NY Election Law § 17-142 prohibits offering money or other valuable consideration to anyone to induce them to vote or refrain from voting. The nonprofit United Jewish Organizations denies claims that it was behind the voter campaign. [Thanks to Steven H. Sholk for the lead.]