And Then There's Williamsburg

Diamondstone press guy Jesse Danzig called in to report that unusual vote-raffle thing Ben described here.

For the last six or seven years a list of candidates has been provided to parochial school children in the area to bring home to their parents. As parents emerge from the polls they have a card (in Hebrew) stamped to prove they have voted, which children then collect to win a prize via a lottery at school the next day.

We were perplexed, as Danzig was, and decided to ask Isac about it. He tells us, “they want that people should go out and vote. They tell the children when everybody comes out from the polling get a stamp on their card and the children bring back these cards then they go into a lottery. If a child has ten cards that means he has ten numbers.”

And before we could even ask, Isac said:

“If it’s legal – I’m not so sure that it’s legal – because you are using parochial schools for politics.”

More after the jump.

—Nicole Brydson

The GOTV operation is done by the UJO, a non-profit. According to Rabbi David Neiderman, who is the Director of the UJO, they do not pay for the cards or endorse any candidates.

“We basically said that the primaries are very crucial, everybody should get out the vote,” Rabbi Neiderman told the Politicker. “This is two separate issues. There is the get out the vote: we have been encouraging people to come out and vote, and that’s all that we are doing. The UJO did not endorse. Just the promotion of getting out the vote and that’s done in the schools to get the people out to vote,” he tells us.

Who are the endorsements by?

“That’s people, leaders in the community, in their own individual names. Nothing to do with the any institution,” Neiderman continued. “In other words, leaders who are involved with civic and other organizations. But it is clearly individuals, you can see all over the place, where it says that people endorse in their own name.”