New Jersey Elections Department has Hidden Requirements for Minor Party and Independent Presidential Petitions

Ballot Access News:

New Jersey only requires 800 signatures for a minor party or independent presidential candidate to get on the November ballot. It has long been considered one of the nation’s easiest states for presidential ballot access.

However, there is a hidden barrier. The New Jersey elections webpage says, “Each of the 14 candidates for the office of Elector for President and Vice President must meet the following qualifications: (1) shall have attained the age of 25 years by the date of the swearing into office; (2) a United States citizen for seven years by the day of the swearing into office; (3) a resident of New Jersey by the day of the election.” Those requirements are not hidden and are not restrictive.

When the Prohibition Party turned in its petition and its slate of electors on December 21, it was told that the state must have proof that each elector meets the state’s requirements. Elector candidates need not be registered voters, they merely must be eligible to register. However, if a candidate for presidential elector isn’t in the state’s list of registered voters, the department wants proof that each elector is at least 25, has been a citizen for seven years, and is not in prison or on parole for a felony. Because most of the electors weren’t in the state voter database, the state asked to see a copy of each elector’s drivers license. The individual turning in the petitions and the list of electors did not realize the state would require such documents, so the filing is in abeyance while these documents are gathered together.

One thought on “New Jersey Elections Department has Hidden Requirements for Minor Party and Independent Presidential Petitions

  1. Pete Blome

    The two party system exists not by any single piece of legislation (although the majority vote, one winner electoral system comes close), but by a series of laws like these that require a) knowledge by political competitors of obscure laws in the first place, b) administrative skills by a supporting organization such as a political party to comply with the law, and c) money to run it all. The Dems and Reps figure “Why put in one big law that everyone can see and object to when you can make a dozen little laws that have the same restrictive effect, and it looks like the competition is inept if they can’t comply?” Sigh….

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