Referendum on moving elections to November will be on Village of Pelham ballot

The Village of Pelham’s ballot in the March 19 election will include a referendum question about moving future elections to the month of November. The Village of Pelham Board of Trustees voted 5-2 in favor of adding the referendum to the ballot.

The ballot question will read, “Shall the month of the annual general village election of the Village of Pelham be changed to November?”

The referendum aims to align Pelham’s elections with county, state and national voting on Election Day in November.

In September, a petition calling for the referendum submitted to Pelham Village Clerk Terri Rouke was rejected because the pages were not numbered.

“New York State Village Law Section 9-902(8) requires that ‘the sheets of such a petition shall be numbered consecutively beginning with number one at the foot of each sheet,’” Rouke said in a letter.

A similar petition submitted in the Village of Pelham Manor was rejected on the same basis. Pelham Manor Village Manager John Pierpont, who also acts as village clerk, also found 162 invalid signatures out of a total 532, leaving the petition under the 400 required.

The Pelham Manor Board of Trustees did not move to vote to add the referendum question to the ballot, as the Pelham village board did. Village trustees can put a referendum before voters with a majority vote. If the Pelham measure passes, the two villages of the Town of Pelham will hold elections eight months apart. Candidates in Pelham will be chosen in primaries, while caucuses will continue to select them in Pelham Manor.