N.J.: New law changes the dates of certain primary election deadlines

March 14, 2023

Gov. Phil Murphy signed S-3595/A-5177 of 2022 into law on March 9, 2023.

This law makes procedural amendments to update New Jersey’s primary election laws by adjusting the timeline of several of the state’s primary election deadlines. More specifically, the law allocates more time for candidates, county and municipal clerks, and other state elections officials to carefully prepare, print, and ensure various elections-related filings are certified, which may reduce the possibility of human error and promote greater trust and transparency in the state’s elections systems.

What changes

The law, which is effective immediately, changes the dates for certain New Jersey primary election deadlines, to do the following:

  • Changes the deadline for creating, abolishing, dividing, or consolidating an election district by County Boards of Elections from 75 to 82 days before the primary election.
  • Changes the deadline for the Secretary of State to submit notification to county clerks/county boards of elections of the available offices and public questions for the upcoming general election from 67 to 74 days.
  • Changes the deadline for county clerks to send notice to municipal clerks of federal, state, and county offices to be elected at general election from 57 to 64 days.
  • Changes the deadline for every county clerk to deliver to every municipal clerk and county boards, a notice that each officer who is voted for by the voters of the entire county or municipality will be chosen at the ensuing general election no later than the 71st day preceding the primary election for the general election.
  • Changes the deadline for the preparation of the official election ballot from on or before the 45th day to on or before the 60th day before a non-federal primary election; and from on or before the 50th day to on or before the 64th day before a general election.
  • Changes the deadline for the State Committee to notify county committees and the county committees to notify municipal clerks of the number of county committee seats that need to be filled 74 days before the primary election.
  • Changes the deadline for filing a certificate to fill a vacancy of a primary election candidate from 56 days to 74 days before the primary election.
  • Changes the deadline for the certification of nominees by the Secretary of State from 54 days to 61 days before the primary election.
  • Changes the deadline for the county clerk/municipal clerk to draw the ballot replacement names of candidates at the primary election from 54 days to 61 days for the general election.
  • Changes the deadline for a political party to file a statement of selection from the 55th to 68th day before the date of the general election.
  • Changes the deadline for filing a direct nomination for petition from 64 days to 75 days before the general election.
Theophilus Alexander
PIA Northeast

Theophilus W. Alexander joined PIA Northeast as a government & industry affairs specialist for the Government & Industry Affairs Department in 2023. Prior to joining PIA, Theo had served in both houses of the New York State Legislature. Previously, he worked as a legislative analyst for Hon. New York State Sen. Samra G. Brouk, D-55, and he served at the New York State Assembly, as a policy analyst with New York Assembly Program & Counsel. Theo received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics from Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y.

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