SENATE, No. 550
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2004 SESSION
Senator JOSEPH F. VITALE
District 19 (Middlesex)
Changes 2004 primary election date to first Tuesday in March.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.
An Act concerning the date of certain primary elections and amending R.S.19:24-1.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. R.S.19:24-1 is amended to read as follows:
19:24-1. In every year in which primary elections are to be held as herein provided for the election of delegates and alternates to the national conventions of political parties, including any national mid-term convention or conference of a political party, [which primary elections are to be held on the first Tuesday in June as hereinbefore provided,] the [chairman] chairperson of the State committee of each political party shall notify the [Secretary of State] Attorney General, on or before March 1 of that year, of the number of delegates-at-large and the number of alternates-at-large to be elected to the next national convention of such party by the voters of the party throughout the State, and also of the number of delegates and alternates to be chosen to such convention in the respective congressional districts or other territorial subdivisions of the State as mentioned in such notification.
If the State [chairmen] chairpersons, or either of them, shall fail to file notice, the [Secretary of State] Attorney General shall ascertain such facts from the call for its national convention issued by the National or State committee.
(cf: P.L.1978, c.15, s.5)
2. a. Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S.19:2-1, R.S.19:3-3, and R.S.19:23-40 or any other law to the contrary, the primary elections in 2004 for all political parties, including the primary elections for delegates and alternates to national conventions of political parties, and for the general election of that year shall be held on the first Tuesday in March, between the hours of 6:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M., Standard Time.
b. For the purposes of the 2004 primary election established in subsection a. of this section, the March 1 date provided for in R.S.19:24-1 and R.S.19:24-2 shall be changed to January 5, and the March 20 and April 1 dates provided for in R.S.19:24-2 shall be changed to January 9 and February 1, respectively.
c. The Attorney General shall, by rules and regulations, make appropriate adjustments for any other dates specified by law in order to accommodate the primary date in 2004 established in subsection a. of this section.
3. This act shall take effect immediately and section 2 shall expire on the day after the day of the 2004 general election.
Currently, primary elections for all political parties, including the primary elections for delegates and alternates to national conventions of political parties, are held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in June. This bill moves the primary election to the first Tuesday in March for the presidential election year of 2004.
In 2000, 16 states including Connecticut, New York, Ohio and California held their primary or party caucus on the first Tuesday in March, making it the closest thing to a national primary in American politics. New Jersey should hold its primary elections on this very important day in 2004.