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State Sen. Andrew Zwicker. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Legislature passes bill editing election deadlines

County clerks would be required to prepare ballots for printing two weeks earlier

By Joey Fox, February 28 2023 9:48 am

A bill that would change an array of election deadlines in New Jersey sailed through both houses of the legislature yesterday; the Senate voted unanimously in favor, while the Assembly voted 74-2 with two Republicans in opposition.

If signed by Gov. Phil Murphy, the bill would push back various deadlines in order to account for other recent adjustments and give election officials more time to prepare for elections. In particular, the bill would require county clerks to have ballots ready for printing two weeks earlier than under current law, from 45 days to 60 days in primary elections and 50 days to 64 days in general elections.

“Our democracy stands on the shoulders of free and fair elections,” State Sen. Andrew Zwicker (D-South Brunswick), one of the bill’s sponsors in the Senate, said in a statement. “This legislation will help relieve some pressure on county clerks and other officials who work to make sure ballots are prepared, printed and secure, and that various filings are certified.”

The bill was introduced in tandem with another bill that amends other election deadlines; that bill has passed two Assembly committees, but hasn’t yet started moving through the Senate.

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