Latest on the New Jersey Special Election for U.S. Senate

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Last month an appeal was pending before the New Jersey Supreme Court challenging the October special election date for U.S. Senate. With all of the breaking news coming out of the U.S. Supreme Court at the end of June, this story sorta got lost in reporting.

On June 20, the New Jersey Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal. N.J. Supreme Court allows special U.S. Senate elections | NJ.com:

The special October election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Frank
Lautenberg can go on as scheduled after the Supreme Court today said it
will not hear the case.

In a one-page notice, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner denied Somerset
Democratic chairwoman Peg Schaffer’s request for the state’s highest
court to take up her challenge.

That leaves the Oct. 16 special Senate election on the calendar.

* * *

Schaffer said she’s disappointed the court wouldn’t take up the case, even if simply to clarify voting laws in New Jersey

"I would have been much happier if they explained whether or not they
agreed with the Appellate Division decision," Schaffer said.

She said the high court also didn’t address the extra voting
machines, cartridges and other equipment the state acknowledged it would
have to get for the Nov. 5 general election should there be a recount
in the U.S. Senate race and the machines have to be impounded.

In the meantime, Bergen and Union counties have staged their own revolts against the Oct. 16 election.

Bergen Freeholder Chairman David Ganz said the Democratic-controlled
board unanimously voted Wednesday night to ask a judge to force the
state to ensure reimbursement by the end of this year.

* * *

Union County’s all-Democratic freeholder board voted last week not to
fund the Oct. 16 election until it gets more information about when and
how the county will be reimbursed the estimated $1 million price tag.

Based upon the concerns of county elections officials, on June 24 the New Jersey Assembly voted to move the date of the 2013 general election from Nov. 5 to Oct. 16. Bill to move nj gubernatorial election to October gets OK from assembly:

The regularly scheduled November election would be moved to October this year under a bill passed by the state Assembly today.

Democrats say the measure (A4237),
which passed 44-31 with three abstentions, is intended to save the $12
million the October special election for U.S. Senate is expected to cost
by consolidating it with the regular general election.

* * *

The bill, which still needs to pass the Senate, will almost certainly
not make it past Christie’s desk. The governor has pledged to veto it
and Democrats are unlikely to gather the 54 votes they would need for an
override.

* * *

The Assembly also passed a bill (A4249) by a vote of 46-32 that would
allow voters who show up in October to cast paper ballots for the
November governor’s race.

Republicans also opposed that measure.

On June 27, the New Jersey Senate approved the bill and sent it to Governor Christie, who will of course veto it. Ill-fated bills challenging Christie plan for Oct. 16 Senate election pass:

State Democratic lawmakers today approved a bill that would undo Gov.
Chris Christie's decision to hold two elections three weeks apart in
the fall, even as they acknowledged that it had "virtually no chance of
being signed into law."

The bill, changing the date of the 2013 general election from Nov. 5 to Oct. 16, heads to the governor's desk for consideration.

* * *

Democrats argue that having two statewide elections three weeks apart
would cost $12 million, confuse voters, and depress voter turnout in a
way that would help Christie's own political fortunes when he's up for
re-election in November against Democratic challenger state Sen. Barbara
Buono (D-Middlesex).

* * *

The state Senate approved the bill (A4237) by a 22-15 vote.

The Democratically-controlled Senate also approved (A4249),
allowing eligible voters who cast ballots on Oct. 16 given a chance to
vote early for the November general election. It, too, was approved
22-15. The Assembly approved both bills on Monday.

I do not find a veto statement from Governor Christie. The voters of New Jersey should send his campaign a bill for the estimated extra $12 million dollar expense of the October special election that his narcissism will cost the state — and that amount is only if there are no problems with counting the votes for the October special election and setting up in time for the November general election.

Then there is the subtle voter suppression that this represents, a whole other story. Christie has previously vetoed an early voting bill, so it does not bode well for A4249.

One response to “Latest on the New Jersey Special Election for U.S. Senate

  1. Christie was on Jimmie Fallon’s show last night. They joked in a skit about the election date. Christie, the bully, is a baby, who worries, he’d get hammered in a senate election at the same time he’s on the ballot. Actually his favorables are pretty good, but he’ll hedge his bet anyway.