IVN: Motion Filed: NJ Secretary of State Defends Interests of Political Parties, Not Voters

(The following was originally published in the Independent Voter Network.)

(Newark, NJ) — In May, New Jersey Secretary of State Kim Guadagno filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed on behalf of the 47% of New Jersey voters who choose not to join a political party. The secretary of state argued that voters have no fundamental right to participate in primary elections despite the fact that their tax dollars fund them.

Independents in New Jersey are required to join a political party in order to vote in the primary.

On Thursday, the Plaintiffs filed their response:

The two main issues in the case include: (1) whether the fundamental right to vote includes the right to vote in a primary election, and (2) whether Plaintiffs’ claim brought under the state of New Jersey’s constitutional prohibition against the use of public funds for a private purpose is barred by state sovereign immunity:

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One thought on “IVN: Motion Filed: NJ Secretary of State Defends Interests of Political Parties, Not Voters

  1. Christopher

    Issue 2 seems to be the most important one.

    NJ has one of the least restrictive ballot access requirements for candidates in the country. To become a US House candidate 100 signatures from registered district voters is needed for independent candidates. 200 for partisan candidates.

    Personally, I seek out third party candidates to vote for. However, I do support the closed primary system. To vote in the primary unaffiliated voters simply must declare a party affiliation on primary day then simply send in a one page form to the County Clerk to disaffiliate the next day.

    Not much of a burden. Simply show up on election day, vote, then fill out a one page, put it in an envelope and stick a 49 cent stamp.

    What I would like to see in NJ is that the requirement to qualify as a certified political party be lowered from 10% to 5% of the total vote cast in the state.


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