New Jersey Elections Department Undecided on Whether to Grant Socialist Party Voter Registration Rights

From Ballot Access News:

On January 15, a status conference was held in Noble v State, Mercer County Superior Court, c-86-13. This is the lawsuit filed by the Socialist Party to win the ability for voters to register as members of the Socialist Party. At the status conference, the state said it is still deciding whether to give the party what it desires.

In 2001, the New Jersey State Appeals Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for the state to force all voters to register only as Democratic, Republican, or independent. Since then, it has been New Jersey’s policy to also let voters register into unqualified parties that bring lawsuits to gain registration rights. The 2001 case had been won by the Constitution, Green, Libertarian, Natural Law, and Reform Parties. Some years later the Conservative Party filed a similar lawsuit, and it also gained registration rights.

If the state turns down the Socialist Party’s request, then the lawsuit will proceed. There will be another status conference on February 18. Meanwhile, the Natural Law Party, and the Conservative Party, are no longer organized in New Jersey and no longer run candidates. New Jersey elections officials would be wise if they promulgated regulations on how an unqualified party can obtain voter registration rights, and when they should be terminated.

One thought on “New Jersey Elections Department Undecided on Whether to Grant Socialist Party Voter Registration Rights

  1. Thane Eichenauer

    Among other reasons I think it is wasteful spending for NJ or any other state to prohibit people from picking their own political party preference (presuming that court staff process costs more than election staff process). Here in Arizona when I was filling out my voter registration form the deputy registrar (we had them 20 years ago) told me I could pick any party preference and gave the example of “Druid”. The State of Arizona has managed pretty darn well since then with hardly a noticeable level of complaining for the government election officials. The biggest problems is that due to the archaic coding they use it is very likely that thousands of Arizona residents that (probably) intended to register a Libertarian are identified as Liberal even though there has never been any organized Liberal Party in Arizona.

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