N.J. lawmakers try consolidating gubernatorial, U.S. Senate elections

A New Jersey Senate committee has voted along party lines in favor of legislation that would move the November general election to the same day as the Oct. 16 special election for a U.S. Senate seat from New Jersey.

 

Another measure sponsored by Sen. Shirley Turner would require a temporary Senate appointment to be from the same political party as the person who held the seat. It would also eliminate the governor’s option to call a special election.

“It’s costing taxpayers too much money to have all these elections, and it’s putting too much of a burden on the staff as well as on voters,” said Turner, D-Mercer, Monday. “We found that the more elections you have, the lower the turnout.”

Sen. Sam Thompson is against eliminating the special election option.

“The governor should have more prerogative because circumstances could arise where there may be a reason that we should fill that seat sooner than up to a year and a half later,” said Thompson, R-Delaware.

In order to become law, the legislation would have to pass full votes in the Senate and the Assembly. And Gov. Chris Christie has said he would not sign it.

Turner remains determined.

“I’m going to be asking for bipartisan support to override this veto so that we can really determine who are the true fiscal conservatives, people who are truly interested in saving taxpayers’ dollars,” she said.

The cost to the state of adding the special election is estimated at $12 million.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.