State of New Jersey

New Jersey Burlington County Primary Ballot Design Challenge 

Burlington County Regular Republican Organization v. Schwartz

Lawsuit filed by the Burlington County Regular Republican Organization (BCRRO), BCRRO Chair Sam Earlen and a local Republican candidate against Burlington County Clerk Joanne Schwartz challenging the county’s Republican primary ballot design. In New Jersey, candidates for municipal or state office have the right to request that they be “bracketed” with other county candidates on the ballot as well as to run under the same slogan. The plaintiffs claim that on April 4, 2024, hours before the ballot would be drawn, they were informed that the county clerk was considering implementing the same office block ballot design that will be used for the June Democratic primary in the Republican primary as well. The office block design would instead group candidates running for the same office together under one column, as opposed to allowing candidates to request to be bracketed with another candidate. The plaintiffs claim that this decision violates New Jersey law, and ask the court to ban the use of an office block ballot design in the 2024 Republican Primary. 

On April 8, 2024, the case was consolidated with Maia-Cusick v. Sollami-Covello. On April 15, the court upheld the county line ballot design for the 2024 Republican primary in 18 out of 21 counties. Three counties, Burlington, Salem and Sussex, can use the office block style because their clerks opted to.

RESULT: On May 9, 2024, the plaintiffs filed their stipulations for dismissal. Burlington County’s office block ballot design in the 2024 Republican Primary will remain.

Case Documents

Last updated: