Local Government Advisory

Local Government Advisory
April 8, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 120, postponing primary elections on Tuesday, June 2nd to Tuesday, July 7th in light of the dangers posed by COVID-19. This includes primaries for the President, the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives, the 25th District of the New Jersey Legislature, county and municipal elections, and county committee elections.
 
The postponement is a precaution to public health officials’ prediction that the peak of COVID-19 cases in New Jersey will occur in April. The uncertain timeline of the COVID-19 emergency was certain to cause difficulties for election officials and voters to properly plan, prepare, and fully participate in a June primary election. This postponement is intended to give election officials flexibility and sufficient lead time to adapt the State’s voting infrastructure to confront the magnitude of the public health and safety risks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The Order further rationalizes the delay for the presidential primary elections and the primary elections for delegates and alternatives since both national party conventions are now being held in August. The Democratic National Convention has been postponed from July 13-16, 2020, to August 17-20, 2020. This is close in time to the Republican National Convention, scheduled for August 24-27, 2020.
 
The Executive Order also states that all deadlines for meeting statutory requirements for a primary election that are currently scheduled to occur after April 11, 2020 will be calculated using the July 7, 2020 primary election date. The Order does not affect deadlines that have already passed or precede April 11, 2020, except for the deadline for change of party affiliation declaration forms to be filed. The scheduled deadline for April 8, 2020 has been postponed to May 13, 2020.
 
Independent candidate petitions will be due on July 7, 2020 by 4:00 p.m. Executive Order No. 120 extends the electronic signature and submission requirements that were set forth in Executive Order No. 105 for independent candidate petitions. Online Independent Candidate Petitions can be found here.
  
Election rules have been modified during prior emergencies. Such modifications have been executed by Governor Kean in 1982 during a severe winter storm and by the Christie Administration in 2012 in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. 
 
 
If you have any questions or concerns regarding election postponement, please reach out to the Government Services Practice Group at Laddey, Clark & Ryan, LLP:
 


Our attorneys can also be reached at: 973-729-1880


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