Home Uncategorized Seven New Jersey Voters File Federal Lawsuit to Stop Taxpayer-Funded Partisan Primaries
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Seven New Jersey Voters File Federal Lawsuit to Stop Taxpayer-Funded Partisan Primaries

On March 5, seven New Jersey voters filed a lawsuit in federal court, arguing that the New Jersey Constitution is violated when taxpayers pay for partisan primaries. Four of the voters are independents, one is a Democrat, and two are Republicans. The case is Balsam v Guadagno, 2:14cv-01388. It was assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Chesler, a Bush Jr. appointee. Here is the Complaint.

New Jersey lets independents vote in partisan primaries, but on primary day, if they ask for a major party primary ballot, they are then listed as major party members, and they must fill out a new voter registration form to regain their independent status. The plaintiffs who are registered Republican and Democrats say they only registered into the major parties so as to be able to vote in primaries, but they would rather not be members of those parties.

5 Responses

  1. Brad M

    This would be so beautiful if this lawsuit is successful and NJ majority parties have to pay for their own party’s elections

    • Jim Riley

      Why should New Jersey give any recognition to the “nominations” of private political parties, organizations, clubs, gangs, etc.?

      Simply let candidates file for office. Anyone who wishes to support that candidacy could then do so.

      Require a runoff to ensure a majority support.

  2. Richard Winger

    To Brad, as recently as 1972, parties did pay for their own primaries in Texas, Arkansas, and South Carolina. The only way they could afford to pay for the administration of the primaries was by charging gargantuan candidate filing fees. Even today, the presidential primary in South Carolina is mostly party-funded, which is why the Republican Party charged a filing fee of $35,000. Restricting ballot access in primaries to candidates who can afford those fees is not “beautiful” in my mind.

    To Jim, the Helsinki Accords required the signing nations to separate political parties from the government as a basic element of human rights. When you put “nominations” in quotes, thar reminds me of certain news sources that always put “marriage” in quotes when they refer to same-sex marriage. Liberty depends on private individuals coming together in common purpose to nominate candidates.

  3. Jim Riley

    Where in the Helsinki Accords, specifically. Do they have treaty status?

    Think of it as if I wrote of the “investiture” of Emperor Norton. The State of California does not recognize such an act. You, as a private citizen, of course are free to believe it occurred.

  4. Richard Winger

    The Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the CSCE says, “The participating States express their conviction that the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms is one of the basic purposes of government…they solemnly declare that among those elements of justice are the following…a clear separation between the State and political parties.

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