New Jersey special election challenge goes to state Supreme Court

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

This special election challenge is moving quickly through the New Jersey court system. The New Jersey Supreme Court will hear the case later this week. Bloomberg News reports Christie's Special Election Plan Heads NJ Supreme Court:

New Jersey’s Supreme Court will weigh in on Governor Chris Christie’s decision to hold a special election Oct. 16 to replace deceased U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg.

The justices put the case on a fast track today, ordering
briefs by June 17 and final responses by June 18, acting state
courts administrative director Judge Glenn Grant said in a
statement. The move follows a lower appeals court decision
yesterday that there’s no legal obstacle to holding the vote 20
days before the general election, when Christie’s on the ballot
seeking a second term.

“They obviously think this is a matter of great public
interest and they want to weigh in,” Peg Schaffer, chairwoman
of the Somerset County Democratic Committee and the driving
force behind the challenge to the special election, said in a
phone interview.

* * *

Schaffer filed an emergency challenge to the special
election date on June 7 as a four-way battle for the Democratic
nomination for Senate began.

Ten state organizations supported the lawsuit claiming the
timing of the elections will reduce turnout and unnecessarily
cost the state about $12 million. Schaffer said after the ruling
yesterday it’s questionable that there’s enough time to hold the
two ballots, as by law voting machines must be impounded for 15
days after an election and five to eight days will be needed to
deliver them to polling places.

The court said yesterday there’s no evidence the schedule
puts any greater burden on voters than participating in two more
widely separated elections.

* * *

State Senator Barbara Buono, 59, Christie’s Democratic
opponent, said yesterday the governor should be “fiscally
responsible” and move the election to November.

“Regardless of the outcome of the court’s decision,
holding an election on a Wednesday in October is a cynical
decision by Governor Christie that will disenfranchise voters,”
Buono said in a statement.

The case is Grillo v. Christie, A-4648-12T2, Superior Court
of New Jersey, Appellate Division (Trenton).

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