Thompson Bill forcing NJ to pay for its advances for errors
Legislation would reimburse counties and municipalities for special elections prompted by state errors
Sen. Sam Thompson is sponsoring bipartisan legislation, approved today by the Senate Committee on State Government, that would spare county and municipal governments the costs of special elections caused by state errors.
Thompson’s bill, S-2527would require the state to reimburse local authorities for expenses incurred in organizing new elections.
“It’s not fair to let a county hold the bag if a judge invalidates an election because the state made a mistake,” Thompson (R-12) said. “Unfortunately, mistakes do happen and preserving the integrity of the ballot may require a redo election which can cost up to $30,000 or more. It’s money that’s not in the budget of local governments that got it right the first time. The state should live with it. »
The Legislative District of Thompson includes Old Bridge, where the November 2021 election was overturned by a judge because some voters received the wrong ballots. A election to redo took place on March 22.
“This bill does the right thing,” Thompson said. “The intent is not to punish the state for its mistakes, but to be fair to county and local governments who are responsible for administering catch-up elections. They shouldn’t be expected to foot the bill.
S-2527 provides that a county or municipality shall be reimbursed upon application to the Secretary of State and with the approval of the Director of the Budget and Accounting Division of the Treasury Department.
If passed, Thompson’s bill would be retroactive to Nov. 1, 2021, allowing Old Bridge to seek a refund for the March 22 election.
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