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Summing up the Bloomingburg election

By Andrew B. Weil
April 9, 2014

When the dust cleared on the last day of the Bloomingburg voter registration trial a number of issues were made clear. One very important concern was left unclear.

The Sullivan County Board of Elections (BOE) affirmed all of the 145 voter registration challenges made by Anita Hoppe. In fact, the attorneys representing those whose registrations were challenged conceded they had no arguments to make factually with regard to the content of the challenges or the BOE’s written determination. The BOE characterized the registration effort as a “sham.” Judge Schick made clear the BOE’s investigation, review of the challenges and their election procedure were legal and appropriate when evaluating both residency and voting qualifications. Thus, none of the challenged voters—all claiming to live in buildings owned by Shalom Lamm’s LLC’s—will have their votes counted. The judge was kind in calling the effort by Lamm to impose his will on the election, “An attempt to stuff the ballot box.” The citizens of Bloomingburg called it, “A massive, voter registration scheme designed to manipulate an election.” Game over. The win goes to Lamm’s opponents, the Rural Heritage Party.

Not so fast. What is to become of Shalom Lamm?

On election day, Lamm stood before the media and said, “My faith in America is shaken. Today I was denied the right to vote like every other American.” Despite the misleading implication that he was denied his right to vote, Lamm voted like many in the election, by affidavit ballot. This allowed all to vote while their registrations were fully vetted by the BOE. Using the media and the courtroom, Lamm and his attorney cried from the mountaintop that anti-Semites and “haters” were trying to destroy his right to vote and conduct business in Bloomingburg. They also claimed the BOE ruled against Lamm and his 140 purported tenants because the board itself was anti-Semitic. Judge Schick was having none of it. He said, “The only thing worse than anti-Semitism is the false accusation of anti-Semitism.”