Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
This special election challenge is moving quickly through the New Jersey court system. The New Jersey Supreme Court will hear the case later this week. Bloomberg News reports Christie's Special Election Plan Heads NJ Supreme Court:
New Jersey’s Supreme Court will weigh in on Governor Chris Christie’s decision to hold a special election Oct. 16 to replace deceased U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg.
The justices put the case on a fast track today, ordering briefs by June 17 and final responses by June 18, acting state courts administrative director Judge Glenn Grant said in a statement. The move follows a lower appeals court decision yesterday that there’s no legal obstacle to holding the vote 20 days before the general election, when Christie’s on the ballot seeking a second term.
“They obviously think this is a matter of great public interest and they want to weigh in,” Peg Schaffer, chairwoman of the Somerset County Democratic Committee and the driving force behind the challenge to the special election, said in a phone interview.
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Schaffer filed an emergency challenge to the special election date on June 7 as a four-way battle for the Democratic nomination for Senate began.
Ten state organizations supported the lawsuit claiming the timing of the elections will reduce turnout and unnecessarily cost the state about $12 million. Schaffer said after the ruling yesterday it’s questionable that there’s enough time to hold the two ballots, as by law voting machines must be impounded for 15 days after an election and five to eight days will be needed to deliver them to polling places.
The court said yesterday there’s no evidence the schedule puts any greater burden on voters than participating in two more widely separated elections.
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State Senator Barbara Buono, 59, Christie’s Democratic opponent, said yesterday the governor should be “fiscally responsible” and move the election to November.
“Regardless of the outcome of the court’s decision, holding an election on a Wednesday in October is a cynical decision by Governor Christie that will disenfranchise voters,” Buono said in a statement.
The case is Grillo v. Christie, A-4648-12T2, Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division (Trenton).