New Jersey Election Officials OK Circulating a Presidential Petition with Just Presidential Elector Candidates, to Help Parties that Want to Petition Before Choosing National Ticket

New Jersey state elections officials are among the kindest and most cooperative of the election officials of any state. Recently the New Jersey elections department approved the idea that petitions for presidential ballot access, for independent candidates and for the nominees of unqualified parties, may be circulated with no presidential or vice-presidential candidates listed. These petitions must instead carry the names of presidential elector candidates.

The purpose of this idea is to make it possible for groups to circulate the petition before they have chosen their national ticket. The elector candidates would tell the state whom they are pledged to, once they know the names of the presidential and vice-presidential ticket. That notification can be later than the actual petition deadline, which is always in late July.

It would be very good if states such as Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Alabama, would also approve this idea. Those states won’t permit stand-in presidential candidates on petitions because they feel placing stand-in presidential candidates mislead the voters who are asked to sign. So, logically, the way to solve that problem is to simply leave the presidential and vice-presidential candidates off the petition, and simply include the presidential elector candidates and the party label on the petition.

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