New Jersey Obama Ballot Access Objection

It has been my practice to post research regarding “natural born citizen”, and in this post I make an exception to comment on a recent New Jersey court ruling.

In the Purpura and Moran New Jersey Obama Ballot Access Objection, Obama’s attorney in New Jersey, Ms. Hill, claimed that “candidate” refers to delegates rather than the person seeking the office.

The position is that “During the primary elections, the voters do not vote for a candidate, but rather they vote for the delegates who are candidates for the office of the party delegate…”

Although I am not an attorney, I believe this to be an obvious error.

The process is clearly defined, there should be no confusion.

Petitioners indorse the person named in their petition as candidate for nomination for the office therein named. N.J.S.A. 19:23-7

Petitioners request that the name of the person therein mentioned be printed upon the official primary ballots of their political party as the candidate for such nomination. 19:23-7

A reading of the law indicates that the persons seeking office are to be listed on the Ballot as Candidates for nomination.

Let’s see how the law has been implemented.

Here is the “Official List of Candidates for President For February 2008 Primary Election”

http://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/election-results/2008-official-presidential-primary-candidates-121807.pdf

Note that the persons officially listed as Candidates are the persons seeking office.

Here is a “2008 Official Presidential Primary Election Sample Ballot”

http://www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/election/2008presidental/9thDistrictSample.pdf

Note that the persons listed on the official sample Ballot are the Candidates listed on the Official List of Candidates for President For February 2008 Primary Election

Note the Instructions for Voting, “PRESS THE BUTTON TO THE RIGHT OF THE CANDIDATE OF YOUR CHOICE; A GREEN ARROW WILL APPEAR SIGNIFYING YOUR SELECTION.” Please direct your attention to “CANDIDATE OF YOUR CHOICE”

As the above shows, the persons seeking office are in fact listed on the Ballot as Candidates. Voters do in fact cast Ballots for their choice of Candidate for nomination.

The law (19:23-7) has been implemented consistent with our reading of the law which indicates that the persons seeking office are to be listed on the Ballot as Candidates for nomination, and that Voters cast Ballots for a Candidate for nomination.

This demonstrates that Voters to not cast Ballots for delegates.

N.J.S.A. 19:3-3 specifies, “Delegates… to the national conventions of the political parties shall be elected at the primary election…”

Delegates are elected, and pursuant to Party rules allocated and apportioned to appear at the Party’s national Convention, “pledged” to a particular Candidate. During the process of the Convention a Candidate for the General Election is chosen by those Delegates. Delegates are elected to implement these internal Party mechanisms.

Primary Voters cast Ballots for Candidates for nomination, BUT delegates are elected. “Delegate” and “Candidate” are distinct, specified by statute, and can not be conflated.

A provision of 19:23-7 is that “Accompanying the petition, each person indorsed therein shall file a certificate, stating that he is qualified for the office mentioned in the petition…” It is disputed that the Candidate (eg, Clinton, Obama, Kucinich) is not required to certify that they are qualified for the office. Flacks contend that it is the delegates who must certify that they are qualified. This is partially true.

According to 19:23-7, Petitioners shall set forth that the signers thereof are:

  1. qualified voters of       
            • the State
            • congressional district
            • county, or county election district
            • municipality
            • ward or election district

    as the case may be, in which they reside and for which they desire to nominate candidates;

  2. that they are members of a political party (naming the same),
  3. that they intend to affiliate with that political party at the ensuing election;

The other part of the truth is, the plain text of 19:23-7, “Accompanying the petition, each person indorsed therein shall file a certificate, stating that he is qualified for the office mentioned in the petition…” As previously shown, the person indorsed on the petition is the Candidate.

Obama is required to certify that he is qualified for office.

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