TRENTON –Acting Governor Kim Guadagno today signed bipartisan legislation to return New Jersey’s presidential primary to June in 2012.
The bill, A-3777, eliminates an additional, stand-alone presidential primary election in February, providing for the election of delegates and alternates to political party national conventions to occur at the regular June primary election. State and local governments are expected to save approximately $12 million, primarily from the elimination of costs such as poll worker salaries, ballot printing and postage, polling place rental and other election-related costs.
“During ‘Super Tuesday’ in February 2008, New Jersey was among 24 other states that held their presidential primaries and caucuses,” said Acting Governor Kim Guadagno, who also serves as the Secretary of State. “The benefits to New Jersey of holding a stand-alone election in February for the presidential primary were offset by the number of other states that opted for an early February primary, as well as the additional cost to taxpayers of holding a separate election.”
“When we first moved New Jersey’s presidential primary up six years ago, it was with the intent that New Jersey be more than a fundraising stopover for presidential hopefuls,” said Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), one of the bill’s sponsors. “But all we ended up doing was paying $8 million to $12 million every four years for the privilege of selecting presidential candidates with fully half of the nation. Moving the primary back to June just makes sense, from both a relevancy and economic perspective.”
Guadagno also noted the ease and convenience of the vote-by-mail process in New Jersey. Registered voters across the state can vote-by-mail for any reason for municipal, county, state and federal offices by completing a downloadable application off the Division of Elections website at www.NJElections.org. Applications are available in both English and Spanish, and must be received by the resident’s County Clerk seven days prior to the election. A voter may also apply in-person to the County Clerk until 3 p.m. the day prior to an election. The deadline to register for the upcoming Nov. 8 general election is Oct.18.
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