Landmark NJ ballot redesign ruling asked to be put on hold

March 30, 2024

A lawyer representing county clerks in New Jersey has requested that a judge delay his landmark decision of scrapping the state’s county-line ballot design, a system that critics say has given tremendous weight to establishment candidates at the expense of outsiders.

Most of the state’s counties’ ballots are designed by grouping the candidates with party support in a single column. That means the names of those running without establishment backing could be left in places on the ballot that are difficult to find. Judge Zahid N. Quraishi of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled on Friday that the state must scrap the system, which has been widely criticized as boosting the prospects of party-backed candidates.

Rajiv D. Parikh, wrote to Judge Quraishi late Friday calling on him to halt its implementation, pending an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

One analysis by Julia Sass Rubin, an associate dean at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Policy at Rutgers, found that being on the county line gave congressional candidates an advantage of 38 percentage points, the New York Times reports.

The ruling will have far-reaching implications for this year’s elections.

Fox News, March 30, 2024

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