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Gov. Phil Murphy. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor.

Murphy tells Dem chairs that primary could be postponed

N.J. election officials working on multiple plans, including all-VBM primary, moving election day to late June or July

By David Wildstein, April 03 2020 12:56 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy told Democratic county chairs this morning that postponing the June 2 Democratic primary was on the table, but that no decisions have been made.

New Jersey election officials are considering a plan to move the New Jersey primary election to late June or possibly even July, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

The postponement of the primary is among the options being considered, along with an all-VBM election.

On a conference call with party leaders, Democratic State Committee executive director Saily Avelenda told the chairs that there was no clarity on moving the primary.

New York and Kentucky have already moved their primary elections to June 23.

The move could potentially put New Jersey into the national spotlight if no presidential candidate has won a majority of delegates by that point, although that is looking increasingly less likely.

Any consideration of a primary after that date would need to get the blessing of national political parties who have not yet assured New Jersey that they would seat delegates to the convention elected after the deadline.  The Democratic and Republican national committees would need to approve any changes to the state’s delegate selection plan.

The Democratic National Committee announced on Thursday that the convention was being moved from July to August.

Murphy said this week that he has no timetable for announcing plans for the June 2 primary election, and sources confirmed to the Globe that no final plan has been presented to the governor.

He also spoke to the county chairs about the state’s effort to combat the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

“(The) worst is ahead of us,” he said.

Bob Giles, the director of the state Division of Elections, declined to answer questions about the primary election on a call with local election officials this morning.

He did say that the voter file for the May 12 municipal elections should be ready next week.

Local election officials in 10 counties will mail about 730,000 vote-by-mail ballots to voters in 32 municipalities holding May 12 elections around the third week in April.

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