New Jersey Democrat seeks to change primary election voting rules

2022 U.S. midterm election ballot counting in Philadelphia

TRENTON, NJ – Trenton Democrat Robert Karabinchak wants to change the way unaffiliated mail-in voters vote in political primary elections in New Jersey.

Under state law, unaffiliated voters must declare a political party 55 days before a primary election.

Under the proposed change, unaffiliated primary voters could vote using the mail-in ballot in a primary election if the voter submits a political party affiliation declaration form to the municipal clerk or the county commissioner of registration by 3 p.m. the day before the primary election and requests the mail-in ballot by that deadline from the county clerk. 

If passed, the law could further delay the vote-counting process in New Jersey, but it also aligns with Governor Phil Murphy’s voter access and expansion policies.

Currently, unaffiliated voters, meaning voters who are not affiliated with any political party, are permitted to vote in person on primary election day and thereby affiliate with a political party by voting that day, while unaffiliated mail-in voters receive a political party affiliation declaration form and information concerning how to affiliate with a political party and how to vote in person at a polling place on the day of a primary election.

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