New Jersey state election officials recently wrote a letter to an attorney who represents the Socialist Party, refusing the party’s request that voters be permitted to register as members of the Socialist Party. The Socialist Party is more active in New Jersey than in any other state, and has regularly had candidates on the ballot in New Jersey elections almost every year for the past decade.
In 2001, New Jersey state courts ruled that it is unconstitutional for the state to only let voters register as Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. That case had been filed by five unqualified parties: Constitution, Green, Libertarian, Natural Law, and Reform. So, ever since 2001, voters have been permitted to register into those parties.
In 2006 the Conservative Party sued New Jersey over registration, and the state immediately gave in and said voters could register in that party as well. But in all these years, the state has never promulgated any regulations to establish an objective standard to determine which parties may have registration rights. Therefore, it is likely that the Socialist Party will now sue New Jersey, which will of course require the state to expend some resources to respond to the lawsuit. It would be surprising if the state, upon being sued, mounts any defense of its policy.