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Press Release: Jim Johnson Sends OPRA Requests to County Board of Elections

Jim Johnson Sends OPRA Requests to County Board of Elections

Solicits Documents Regarding Processes for Positioning Gubernatorial Candidates on the Primary Ballot and Won’t Attend Remainder of Conventions

Newark NJ—Today, lawyers on behalf of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Johnson sent Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests to New Jersey’s twenty-one county Boards of Elections. The campaign has requested all documents concerning the county’s methods, policies, and practices for positioning Democratic gubernatorial candidates on the ballot, as well as the ballot the county intends to use and documents concerning the county’s process for finalizing the ballot used in the 2017 Democratic primary.

“Fair ballots are crucial for fair elections. In New Jersey, our ballot design process is undemocratic and confusing. We give priority ballot position to candidates that receive the backing of party bosses and political insiders, and voters have little idea as to how the rest of the process works,” said Johnson. “On Election Day, voters should easily be able to select the candidates of their choice, not navigate a ballot designed to favor the candidate who spends millions to buy the top spot. Now more than ever, our elections must be fair and transparent, and I have requested documents from every county Board of Elections to ensure that New Jersey’s ballot design process results in elections that reflect the will of the people.”

At the Brennan Center for Justice, Johnson spent much of his time fighting for free, fair, and accessible elections for all Americans. In his campaign for Governor, Johnson has committed to bringing transparency and accountability to New Jersey’s electoral and political systems. Johnson is the only candidate in the race for Governor to release a proposal for ethics and electoral reform, which includes eliminating no-bid contracts, implementing a transparency pledge in his administration, expanding the right to vote, ending ballot lines, and limiting the role of big money in elections.

Johnson has shown his commitment to campaign reform by agreeing to participate in New Jersey’s public financing system, which limits his campaign spending to no more than $6.2 million in the primary.  Johnson was the first candidate, and is the only Democrat, in the race to qualify for matching public funds. Johnson has also called on fellow gubernatorial candidates to agree to a $15 million spending cap in the primary.

“New Jersey’s electoral process must be democratic. For far too long, the political machine has favored insiders and special interests over the interests of the people of New Jersey. As Governor, I am committed to reforming our electoral system so that the voices of the people aren’t drowned out by the voices of the powerful.”

The OPRA law requires response within 7 days. In addition to the OPRA requests, Johnson has also announced that he will not attend the Mercer County Democratic Convention tonight. Johnson has decided he will not attend any county conventions due to their predetermined, exclusive, and undemocratic nature.


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