Independent Voter Project

Appellate Court to Consider Constitutionality of N.J. Closed Primary

A coalition that includes seven individual plaintiffs, the Independent Voter Project, and IndependentVoting.org filed suit in March in a federal court challenging the constitutionality of New Jersey’s closed primary system.

Plaintiffs assert two main grievances under federal law:

  1. New Jersey’s closed primary system violates a voter’s First Amendment right of non-association because voters are required to join a political party to participate in the taxpayer-funded primary process, and
  2. New Jersey’s closed primary system violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause because the primary system gives political parties and their members superior access to the election franchise, which has the effect of diluting the influence of voters who choose not to join the Republican or Democratic parties.

Additionally, plaintiffs claim that the closed primary system violates New Jersey’s state constitutional prohibition against the private use of public funds because the closed primary serves the exclusive benefit of the Republican and Democratic parties and their members to conduct their private nomination proceedings.

Read the full article on IVN


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