Federal ruling on ‘county line’ ballots draws praise

April 1, 2024

There was lots of celebrating in some circles of New Jersey politics this weekend, after a federal judge’s ruling on Friday ending the state’s “county line” voting system. It’s a ballot design system that has ruled New Jersey politics for generations, where candidates are grouped in a horizontal or vertical line by their county party leadership’s preference.

Yet supporters of the line system, who have included Gov. Phil Murphy and former U.S. Senate candidate and first lady Tammy Murphy, have said it has served New Jersey well as a filter against extreme candidates and especially monied interests with an agenda.

Julia Sass Rubin, a professor at Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Public Policy whose analysis of the system proved damning, says the case is “just the beginning, assuming the decision holds, which I think it should and hope that it will. It’s really just the opening of the door.”

NJ Spotlight News, April 1, 2024

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