March Election Halted

Published as part of the February 1, 2008 edition. Excerpts
Village proceeds with cumulative voting remedy to voting rights violation
By Jananne Abel

It’s now official; there will be no Port Chester village election on Mar. 18. In fact, there will be no election for trustee of the village until the court orders it. After United States District Judge Stephen C. Robinson’s decision in the voting rights case against the village was released last Tuesday, ruling that the village’s at-large voting system violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and discriminates against Hispanics, there was the expectation that the election would eventually be cancelled, although the 56-page opinion did not specifically address it.

Meanwhile, Republican, Democratic and Conservative caucuses were set for Jan. 28 and 29 to select candidates for the 2008 election for five trustees. The three parties in the lawsuit-the U.S. Department of Justice; Cesar Ruiz, represented by attorney Richard St. Paul; and the Village of Port Chester, represented by counsel Anthony Piscionere-agreed that a clarification of when and under what circumstances the 2008 trustee election might proceed would save time and money.

Judge Robinson therefore signed a court order on Monday, Jan. 28 noting that the parties had agreed the court’s injunction prohibiting the 2007 trustee election from proceeding be extended to the 2008 election and that no election for trustee of the village shall proceed until further order of the court.