Bill Text: NJ A4744 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Permits use of instant run-off voting in balloting for certain local elective public offices.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 3-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-09-24 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly State and Local Government Committee [A4744 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-A4744-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 4744

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 24, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  ANNETTE CHAPARRO

District 33 (Hudson)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Permits use of instant run-off voting in balloting for certain local elective public offices.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act permitting use of instant run-off voting in balloting for certain local elective public offices and supplementing Title 19 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    As used in this act:

     "instant run-off voting" means a system of voting which allows each voter to vote for the voter's preferred candidate as well as specific alternative choices from among the other candidates appearing on the ballot for that office in order of preference and, in the event that no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast for candidates for that office, provides that the candidate receiving the fewest votes will be eliminated and the second choice votes of the voters who voted for that candidate counted, with the process continuing until one candidate is a majority winner; and

     "continuing candidate" means a candidate who has not been eliminated as a result of this instant run-off voting procedure.

 

     2.    The governing body of a municipality governed by the provisions of the "Uniform Nonpartisan Elections Law," P.L.1981, c.379 (C.40:45-5 et seq.), may, by ordinance or resolution as appropriate, authorize the use of instant run-off voting in elections at which a candidate is to be elected to an elective public office filled by one individual at an election held pursuant to law.  In each such election the first choice vote of each voter for each race shall be counted first. If, after all ballots are counted, a candidate has obtained a majority of the first choice votes for that race, further counting is not necessary, and that candidate shall be declared the winner.  If no candidate has obtained a majority of first choice votes, then the candidate with the fewest number of first choice votes shall be declared eliminated, and the second choice votes of voters who voted for this candidate shall be transferred to the next choice continuing candidate marked on each continuing ballot, and added to that continuing candidate's vote total.  However, if the total of the votes of the two or more candidates credited with a low number of votes is less than the number of votes credited to the candidate with the next highest number of votes, these candidates shall be declared defeated simultaneously and their votes transferred to the next choice continuing candidate marked on each ballot in a single counting operation.  If the next-choice candidate has been eliminated, the vote shall be transferred to the next-choice candidate who is a continuing candidate.  After this tabulation, if no continuing candidate receives a majority of the votes, then the continuing candidate with the fewest votes shall be declared defeated. This process of eliminating last-place candidates, transferring ballots from these candidates, and adding them to the totals of continuing candidates shall proceed until a candidate has a majority of the ballots, in which case that candidate is elected, or there is a tie between all remaining continuing candidates.  If, in any election, a ballot has no more available preferences stated, that ballot shall be declared exhausted and shall not be counted further.  A ballot assigning the same ranking to more than one candidate for an office shall be declared exhausted when the double ranking is reached.  If a ballot skips a ranking then the next ranking shall be counted. If there is a tie between candidates, the procedures otherwise provided by law shall be followed.

 

     3.    The Secretary of State, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act.  Instant run-off voting shall not be implemented in any municipality until the Secretary of State determines that voting equipment and ballots have been updated to accommodate this process.

 

     4.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill permits the governing body of a municipality governed by the provisions of the "Uniform Nonpartisan Elections Law," N.J.S.A.40:45-5 et seq., to allow the use of instant run-off voting in elections at which a candidate is to be elected to a local elective public office filled by one individual.

     Instant run-off voting is a system of voting which allows each voter to vote for the voter's preferred candidate as well as specific alternative choices from among the other candidates appearing on the ballot for that office in order of preference.  In the event that no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast for candidates for that office, the candidate receiving the fewest votes will be eliminated and the second choice votes for that candidate counted, with the process continuing until one candidate is a majority winner. 

     The Secretary of State would be responsible for promulgating rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the bill's purposes.  Instant run-off voting would not be implemented until the Secretary of State determines that voting equipment and ballots have been updated to accommodate this process.

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