County clerks forge ahead with new ballot design

April 9, 2024

New Jersey Democratic primary voters will see ballots that look very different from what they are used to and also different from the ones Republican voters will see.

County clerks are designing ballots for the June election to comply with the recent federal court ruling that ends the state’s unique “county-line” balloting, though only for the Democratic primary. Clerks have been working with vendors Dominion Voting Systems and Election Systems & Software to design the new ballots and meet the April 20 deadline for sending out mail-in ballots. Some clerks have already completed their work and displayed the new designs during their drawings last Thursday for where to place candidates on the ballot.

Rutgers University professor Julia Sass Rubin published a study last year that detailed the advantage the party line gives to candidates. Legislative incumbents who had the party line in all the counties in which they were running over the last two decades won the nomination almost 99% of the time, Rubin’s study found. And in federal elections, candidates who appeared on the county line performed an average of 38 percentage points better than their opponents, the study showed.

NJ Spotlight, April 9, 2024

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