Judge: Republicans Can Keep County Organization Lines On Their Ballots

U.S. District Court Judge Zahid Quraishi’s ruling doing away with the county lines on the June primary ballots will only apply to Democrats, but not Republicans.

“This court declines to extend the scope of its decision beyond the limitations of the present litigation,” Quraishi wrote. However, he also noted that the Republican Party is free to amend their ballot system similarly if they choose to do so.

Morris County GOP Vice Chair Peter King had requested clarification on whether the order applied to both parties, as Republicans had not challenged the constitutionality of the line. King argued that the matter before the court was specific to the Democratic primary.

Quraishi responded by confirming that the preliminary injunction only applies to the 2024 Democratic Primary Election, stating that the plaintiffs’ allegations and sought relief only applied to the Democratic primary.

This means that ballots in nineteen counties will use office block ballots for Democrats, while Republicans will continue to use traditional organization lines. Seventeen county election officials are seeking to stay Quraishi’s order and plan to appeal to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

The ruling has sparked debate over the fairness and consistency of the primary election process. However, because it will only apply to Democrats, it doesn’t harm Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore, who is still working to use the county line to oust his political foes with his allies.

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