Court Cautions Against Inflexible Application of New Jersey Election Laws

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Court Cautions Against Inflexible Application of New Jersey Election Laws

by Gary S. Cucchiara on May 10, 2013

A recent Appellate Division decision reinforces that municipalities need not always rigidly enforce New Jersey election laws. As specifically highlighted by the court, such laws should be “relaxed where enforcement of the right of choice in the election process is unreasonably thwarted.”

The Facts of the Case

Regalado v. Curling involved the interpretation of N.J.S.A. 19:13-16, which provides that when a nominee for public office in a general election “shall, at least 60 days before the day of the general election, in a writing signed by him and duly acknowledged, notify the officer with whom the original petition or certificate of nomination was filed that he declines the nomination, the nomination shall be void.”

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