March 21, 2014
Independent Voter Project
On March 5, 2014, the coalition EndPartisanship.org filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Newark, New Jersey, challenging the constitutionality of partisan primaries. The suit argues that every voter should have full and equal access to every stage of the electoral process, including the primaries, regardless of party affiliation.
The lawsuit has not gone unnoticed by local media:
Primaries Barring 50% of Electorate Challenged in New Jersey Lawsuit
The Committee for a Unified Independent Party and The Independent Voter Project, which together form Endpartisanship.org, have joined a group of seven registered voters in filing the suit against Secretary of State Kim Guadagno seeking to have the current primary system declared unconstitutional because it bars nearly 50 percent of all state voters from the process.
“Defendant barred nearly half of New Jersey’s registered voters from participating in New Jersey’s 2013 primary election because they exercised their right not to associate with either the Democrat or Republican Party,” the brief, filed in District Court earlier this month, states. “This action seeks to protect the fundamental right to vote under the New Jersey Constitution and U.S. Constitution from the condition required by the New Jersey Primary Election Law that a voter forfeit his or her First Amendment Right not to associate with a political party.”
The suit goes on to claim that the state, which foots the bill for the annual primary election, is violating the New Jersey constitution by allocating money for the primaries, which are held on behalf of private political parties.
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