Town of Newburgh responds to voting rights lawsuit

Newburgh is the second Hudson Valley municipality to be sued after the Town of Mount Pleasant received a similar lawsuit in January.

Jonathan Gordon

Apr 2, 2024, 10:13 PM

Updated 14 days ago

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For the first time since being sued last week, Town of Newburgh Supervisor Gil Piaquadio responded to allegations the town is violating the state's Voting Rights Act.
Piaquadio said in part: "The Newburgh Town Board is assembling a team of experts in the field – lawyers, election experts, and possibly others -- to review the factual and legal allegations in the lawsuit and respond appropriately. Much of the lawsuit rests upon untested statistical analyses and legal theories. The lawsuit goes further, however, and -- citing actions the Town has taken on recent issues having nothing to do with race -- claims that the electoral system in the Town of Newburgh represents intentional racial bias by the government of the Town. Those allegations are false."
Last week, six residents sued the town and claimed the current at-large voting system is racially polarized. Specifically, they claim a person of color has never been elected to the town board and both Black and Hispanic residents are systematically unable to elect the candidate of their choice.
Newburgh is the second Hudson Valley municipality to be sued after the Town of Mount Pleasant received a similar lawsuit in January. Mount Pleasant has hired a major law firm to represent the town to fight the case.
The plaintiffs in Newburgh are asking a judge to implement a new voting method which could include ranked-choice voting or wards.


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