A complaint filed by independent 2nd District Assembly candidate Gary Stein challenging the party placements and layout of ballots was dismissed Friday by a Superior Court judge. Stein had claimed that the straight-line party columns were unfair to independent and third-party candidates and pointed to Salem County’s ballot, in which candidates are all listed separately under each office, as a fairer system. Stein also claimed that both the Republican and Democratic parties did not meet the requirement needed to get a column on the ballot, each having not received 10 percent of the vote total of the previous state general election during the primary election.
At a hearing in Atlantic City, Judge James Savio ruled that under his interpretation, both parties did meet the requirement based on the 2011 election — though Stein later disputed this and said that the standard should be based on the total statewide vote and not the 2nd District vote.
“To order the county clerk to revise the ballot at this point creates extreme confusion among the general election,” Savio ruled.