“Legislators elected with the help of leadership PACs become beholden to the leadership and more likely to vote for them as leaders, further concentrating power in their hands,” Rubin said.
According to Prof. Rubin’s findings, primary challengers will frequently drop out because they fear wasting the time and expense of running for office if they don’t have the line.
Murphy could choose independently to disavow the line. And experts I spoke to — Rutgers Professor Julia Sass Rubin and Brett Pugach, the lead attorney on a lawsuit challenging the line’s constitutionality — agreed that’s the case.
“Everybody else is scattered across the ballot in different ways but always in a different column or row from the people on the line, and this has the effect of confusing voters as to what their choices are,” Rubin said.
Indeed, a statewide primary candidate’s line position in most counties makes him or her virtually unbeatable. This was extensively documented by a recent study by the eminent professor, Dr. Julia Sass Rubin at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.
Eagleton experts discuss new state law allowing 17-year-old voters to participate in primary elections
“New Jersey is a state whose politics are controlled by political machines, and they like to know who’s going to vote,” she said. “And the primary is the most important election in New Jersey because we don’t have very competitive general elections for the most part.” – Julia Sass Rubin
Kim’s campaign has attracted activists who have mobilized in recent years in an effort to reform or abolish the county party ballot “line,” based on research by Prof. Julia Sass Rubin.
It took Tammy Murphy just weeks to win the backing of key New Jersey Democratic leaders in her bid for Senate. In a state where party bosses still carry strong influence in elections, that could ordinarily be enough to ensure her nomination — giving the New Jersey first lady preferential ballot positioning right below President Joe Biden in many critical counties.
In many ways, Wall is a microcosm of a statewide and national trend: In short, nobody wants to run for the school board anymore. Across New Jersey, voters in at least 90 municipalities will head to the polls without enough candidates to choose from when it comes to...
Governor Murphy and Nancy Solomon discuss Professor Julia Sass Rubin's research on the Party Line Ballots with a caller on his "Ask Governor Murphy" show on October 10, 2023. Ask Governor Murphy - October 10, 2023 Episode