Voting in Jackson Heights will cost ya!
Nov 17, 2009 | 3282 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In what appears to be more like an election in a Middle Eastern country where stuffing the ballot box is encouraged, the volunteer organization “74th Street Merchant’s Association” held an election for a Board of Directors on August 1 where a few dozen people voted. A subsequent “foul ball” lawsuit has landed in court and a handful of judges have looked at the case.

The 74th Street block of Jackson Heights, running between Roosevelt Avenue and 37th Avenue, referred to as “Little India,” is often the setting for heated power struggles among the Indian business community. There are many lawyers creating problems on the block, so strange lawsuits are a way of life.

This case might have seemed no different, but now our judges and the court system must endure a waste of time on acts of total disrespect for fundamental fair values.

Some of the merchants had contended that a member orchestrated an illegal election – and now the court of law agrees. Court documents show that a Jagir Singh, who was elected president, sent out letters about the election being held on a different day than they were supposed to be, and then the real election took place with only a few hours of notice in a restaurant. To boot, he only sent the election notice to some of the nearly 180 members.

Gee, do you think a low turnout was the plan? Cuba might be closer to holding a fair election.

Now comes the fun part…

In order to vote in this election, court papers say, Singh charged you pay $50!

But the best comment on this case came from one of the court documents (so even though we’d like to take credit for it, we can’t). It’s a Leonid Brezhvev quote brought to life: “The problem with free elections is that you never know who is going to win.”

Now the court has ordered newer and fairer (pardon the liberties we take with the English language) elections on 74th Street in Jackson Heights, so beware! There might be a new sheriff in town.

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