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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Murphy picked July 7 primary date because of DNC convention postponement

Delayed primary means there’s again 41 days between vote, convention’s start

By Nikita Biryukov, April 08 2020 3:42 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy said he chose to reschedule the state’s primaries to three days after a national holiday because the time horizon between that vote and the Democratic National Committee’s convention was similar to the one that existed before both events were postponed.

“The runway from July 7 to the Democratic Convention, which was always going to be the first of the two — and by the way, again, remember this is a non-partisan decision here; we hosted and consulted with folks on both sides of the aisle — it’s about the same runway as June 2nd had been to what had been the July 13 convention,” Murphy said.

Last week, the DNC announced it would postpone its convention from July 13 to Aug 17.

With New Jersey’s primaries delayed, there is again a 41-day period between election day here and the start of the Democratic convention.

Still, scheduling what would be a high-turnout vote were it not for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for days after a national and state holiday could create logistical problems for election officials.

No decisions have bene made on whether election workers will be called in on the July 3 state holiday, nor have officials determined whether they’ll require counties that offer in-person pre-election voting for those who missed the vote-by-mail deadline to remain open on the Fourth of July.

“We’ve bought ourselves a significant number of weeks here, so that is to be determined,” Murphy said.

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