Last January, the board of elections in the tiny Catskills village of Bloomingburg, New York, attempted to cancel the voting registrations of 160 Hasidic residents, claiming that they needed to provide more proof of residency to vote. Ten of those residents filed a federal lawsuit against the board claiming voter discrimination, and today, the Sullivan County Board of Elections settled for $575,000.
According to the Times Herald-Record, the board still denies discriminating against any Hasidic residents. The settlement, however, requires the county to pay $550,000 in legal fees and $2,500 to each resident who was part of the suit. The settlement also requires both sides to come together and appoint a monitor to oversee voting practices in the town for the next five years.
An attorney for the Hasidic residents told the Herald-Record that the settlement a victory “not only for Bloomingburg’s Hasidic Jewish community, but citizens of every faith.”
In 2014, the village was also accused in a $25 million lawsuit of trying to block members of Brooklyn’s Satmar Hasidic community from relocating there by tying up a approvals for a school as well as a 396-unit townhouse project.
“The village and town are seeking to use their political power, economic pressure, zoning laws, and sheer intimidation to prevent a certain type of people from joining their community,” the suit said.
That case is still pending in Manhattan federal court.