Demonstrating a commitment to New Jersey‟s state and local taxpayers, Acting Governor Kim Guadagno signed bipartisan legislation to provide for a single June primary election in 2012, inclusive of New Jersey‟s presidential primary.
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 anticipated to experience total savings of 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. 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,” said Acting Governor Kim Guadagno, who also serves as the Secretary of State. “Returning our state to a single June primary election in 2012 is a commonsense move that will provide meaningful savings to the state and local taxpayers without diminishing New Jersey‟s role in the presidential nomination process.”
Acting Governor 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 3:00 p.m. the day prior to an election. The deadline to register for the upcoming November 8 general election is October 18.
A-3777/S-2883 was sponsored by Assemblymembers Thomas Giblin (D-Essex, Passaic), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer), John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) and Joe Cryan (D-Union), and Senators Donald Norcross (D-Camden, Gloucester) and Kevin O‟Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Passaic). The New Jersey Association of Election Officials, and numerous county clerks and both the New Jersey League of Municipalities and the New Jersey Association of Counties supported the bill.