The EndPartisanship.org coalition located in Newark, New Jersey has filed a lawsuit today challenging constitutionality of partisan primary elections. Primary elections in New Jersey come at the public taxpayers expense however, citizens are not allowed to vote in the primary election unless they are part of the Republican or Democrat Party. This would mean that independent voters are disenfranchised and have no right to a meaningful vote and still get stuck with the bill for these elections.
“A primary election is often the most important part of the electoral process … By denying over 2.6 million New Jersey voters the right to cast a vote in the primary election, the State has disenfranchised nearly half of its electorate, and thereby, given private political parties and partisan voters a greater and unequal access to the voting franchise. As a result, New Jersey’s elections are not free, not equal, and not constitutional for the reasons demonstrated herein.”
According to the End Partisanship coalition press release: (see below)
Over 47% of New Jersey voters choose not to register with a political party and 42% of American voters now self-identify as Independent or unaffiliated voters, yet most states have primary systems that give political parties special access to the voting franchise and penalize voters who do not wish to join a political party.
Fewer than 8% of all registered voters participated in New Jersey’s last primary election at a cost of $12 million to the taxpayers. This amounted to more than $92 per vote cast. And 2.6 million New Jersey voters were not allowed to vote in the primary election unless they joined either the Republican or Democratic Party.
Will the Republican and Democrat parties allow to public access to their primaries for all voters?