“Judge kills NJ’s controversial ballot design for Senate primary”


New Jersey’s controversial ballot design that gives party-backed candidates an advantage will be scrapped in the June primary, a federal judge ruled on Friday.

U.S. District Judge Zahid Quraishi granted the preliminary injunction sought by Rep. Andy Kim and two Congressional candidates to eliminate the so-called county line, a feature unique to New Jersey elections that’s given local party bosses inordinate influence over elections. In 19 of 21 counties in the state, candidates backed by county political parties appear in a single column or row, placing them more prominently on the ballot and giving them a nearly insurmountable edge.

The judge ordered the use of office block ballots for the June primary, where candidates are placed together by the office they are seeking. His ruling applies to all offices on the ballot.

The decision is likely to be appealed, but until then it takes away a key tool wielded by political bosses in the state. …

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