Drop The Line From The Ballot

Matt Dragon @matt_dragon
Published: 02/29/2020

Ever notice the “Vote Line A” signs for the Primary Election? Have you ever thought about what those signs really mean? Primaries are already divided by party with no competing sides vying for your vote. When you vote in the Primary on June 2nd, who would benefit from voters “voting the line” in the Primary?

In many NJ counties, this year’s Primary ballot is unlikely to have a “Line A” for the Presidential Candidates. There are limits on how candidates can list next to each Presidential candidate. As state and local candidates endorse or win the support of Presidential candidates, a party Line incorporating the Presidential Primary quickly becomes impossible. But most County Committees still plan on enforcing the Line on the rest of the ballot.

Having the Line anywhere on the ballot is undemocratic. The Line doesn’t exist in this form outside of NJ. However, studies find a 5 to 20% boost to the candidate listed first on a ballot. With the Line, that valuable first slot goes to the County Committee’s chosen candidate. Often that selection is made by a County Chair alone or by a small Executive Committee. That system hardly seems to represent the will of the people.

Reach out to County Committee members from your town, or friends on Committees and ask them to drop the Line for all races, not just the Presidential race. If it’s good enough for the Presidential, it’s good enough for all the other races on the ballot too.

Topics: The LineVoting