Critics of the village cite its impact on local politics. Villagers are perceived as voting in a solid bloc. While this is not always the case, the highly concentrated population often does skew strongly toward one candidate or the other in local elections, making Kiryas Joel a heavily-courted swing vote for whichever politician offers Kiryas Joel the most favorable environment for continued growth.
Kiryas Joel played a major role in the 2006 Congressional election. The village sits in the 19th Congressional District, represented at that time by Republican Sue Kelly. Village residents had been loyal to Kelly in the past, but in 2006, voters were upset over what they saw as lack of adequate representation from Kelly for the village. In a bloc, Kiryas Joel swung around 2,900 votes to Kelly’s Democratic opponent, John Hall, in that year’s election. The vote in Kiryas Joel was one reason Hall carried the election, which he did by 4,800 votes.
Kiryas Joel also plays a big role in state and federal courts
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