Insider NJ reports

In a move they say is designed to return democratic power to the voters of New Jersey and away from politically connected party bosses, a coalition of progressive organizations and candidates has joined a landmark lawsuit to force reforms in New Jersey elections by limiting the influence county party leaders exert in drawing ballots that favor particular candidates.

For decades, New Jersey’s county parties have exercised an iron grip on New Jersey elected officials — from congressperson to state legislator to township councilperson — by wielding control over who gets the coveted “party line” to give these chosen candidates an unfair advantage at the polls.

That practice violates the United States Constitution and must be reformed, according to a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

“This antiquated practice is truly indefensible.” said Sue Altman, State Director of New Jersey Working Families, one of the plaintiffs in this lawsuit. “If we learned anything over the last four years, it’s that our democracy is fragile and requires a vigorous effort maintain. This expansive coalition is fighting to make democracy stronger in New Jersey. Up and down the state advocates agree: It is long past time for real, competitive primary elections. Our democracy is at stake, this is a matter of equity and whose voice counts.”