Gov. Chris Christie today vetoed a measure that would had New Jersey voters casting ballots on just one election day this fall: Oct. 16. “Moving the date of the general election has the potential to cause unnecessary voter confusion, as the general election takes place at the same time each year,” Christie said in his veto message of the bill to move the election (A4237). “While the bill would require the Secretary of State to provide appropriate notice regarding the date change, there is no guarantee that every voter would know that the general election had been moved to October.” After U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) died on June 3, Democrats wanted Christie to call the special election to fill his seat for Nov. 5 — the same day Christie and candidates for all 120 seats in the Legislature are on the ballot. Christie, however, called the Senate special election for Wednesday, Oct. 16. The special election is estimated to cost an extra $12 million. Democrats charged it was because he did not want to share the ballot with a high profile Senate race.
State Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer), a sponsor of the bill said it would have saved the state the extra expense of having two statewide elections three weeks apart.
“We’ve been listening to the Governor’s anti-tax rhetoric for almost four years. He should have put taxpayer money where his mouth is,” Turner said in a statement. “The $12.5 million could have been better spent to help provide property tax relief for our overburdened middle class, senior citizens, and disabled taxpayers or rehire police officers in our crime ridden cities.”
Christie also nixed a bill that would let voters who turn up to the polls in October for the special U.S. Senate election also vote early at their polling place for the November election, when the governor and all 120 seats in the Legislature are up.