An Act concerning county boards of elections and amending R.S.19:6-17 and R.S.19:6-18 and supplementing Title 19 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. R.S.19:6-17 is amended to read as follows:
County board of elections, membership, appointments, civil service status, compensation.
19:6-17. The county board shall consist of four persons, who shall be legal voters of the counties for which they are respectively appointed. Two members of such county board shall be members of the political party which at the last preceding general election, held for the election of all of the members of the General Assembly, cast the largest number of votes in this State for members of the General Assembly, and the remaining two members of such board shall be members of the political party which at such election cast the next largest number of votes in the State for members of the General Assembly. By a majority vote of the full membership of the county board of chosen freeholders, the county board of chosen freeholders may opt to increase to six persons the membership of the county board of elections. The two new members shall be legal voters of the counties for which they are respectively appointed. If a county board of chosen freeholders votes to increase the membership of a county board of elections to six persons, the board of elections shall consist of an equal representation between the political parties which at the last preceding general election, held for the election of all of the members of the General Assembly, cast the largest and next largest number of votes in this State for members of the General Assembly. No person who holds elective public office shall be eligible to serve as a member of the county board during the term of such elective office. The office of member of the county board shall be deemed vacant upon such member becoming a candidate for an office to be voted upon at any primary, general election or special election, except for nomination for or election to membership in any county committee or State committee or for nomination for or election as a delegate at large or alternate delegate at large, or district delegate or alternate district delegate to any national political convention, such candidacy to be determined by the filing of a petition of nomination duly accepted by such member in the manner provided by law.
In all counties of the first class the county board may appoint some suitable person clerk of such board. In counties of the first class having a population of less than 800,000, the county board may appoint four additional office employees, and in counties of the first class having a population of more than 800,000, the county board may appoint not more than six additional office employees, all of whom when appointed by such county boards shall be appointed from the competitive class of civil service, provided, however, that any employee now serving and who has not been appointed from the competitive class of civil service shall be in the classified service of the civil service upon passage of this act. The compensation of the clerk of the county board of elections in counties of the first class shall be in an amount recommended by the county board of elections and subject to the approval of the board of chosen freeholders of the county affected, provided, however, that such compensation shall be not less than $5,000.00 per annum. The compensation of such office employees shall be recommended by the county board and approved by the board of chosen freeholders. All persons now employed by the board in the competitive class of civil service and such other employees now performing assigned duties shall hold such employment in the competitive class of civil service.
2. R.S.19:6-18 is amended to read as follows:
Nomination for member of county board; certification, appointment, term.
19:6-18. During the 30-day period immediately preceding February 15 in each year, the chairman and vice-chairlady of each county committee and the State committeeman and State committeewoman of each of such two political parties, respectively shall meet and jointly, in writing, nominate an equal number of persons, as specified under R.S.19:6-17, residing in the county of such county committee chairman, duly qualified, for member of the county board in and for such county.
If more than two members are elected to the State committee of any party from a county, the State committeeman and State committeewoman who shall participate in the process of nomination shall be those holding full votes who received the greatest number of votes in their respective elections for members of the State committee.
If nomination be so made, the said county committee chairman shall certify the nomination so made to the State chairman and to the Governor, and the Governor shall commission such appointees, who shall be members of opposite parties, on or before March 1. If nomination be not so made on account of a tie vote in the said meeting of the county committee chairman, county committee vice-chairlady, State committeeman and State committeewoman, in respect to such nomination, the said county committee chairman shall certify the fact of such a tie vote to the State chairman, who shall have the deciding vote and who shall certify, in writing, to the Governor, the nomination made by his deciding vote. Appointees to county boards of election pursuant to this section shall continue in office for two years from March 1 next after their appointment.
The first appointment having been made pursuant to law for terms of one and two years, respectively, the members subsequently appointed each year shall fill the offices of the appointees whose terms expire in that year.
C.19:6-17.1 Nominations, appointments; timeframe.
3. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of R.S.19:6-18 requiring appointments to be made on or before March 1, the initial nomination and appointment to increase the membership of the county boards of elections by two additional members, as provided by the action to increase membership under P.L.2019, c.191 (C.19:6-17.1 et al.) amending R.S.19-6-17, shall be made not less than 10 business days following the adoption of increase in membership of the county board of elections by the county board of chosen freeholders. Thereafter, all members shall be nominated and appointed in accordance with the timeframe specified under section a. of R.S.19:6-18.
4. This act shall take effect immediately.
Approved July 19, 2019.