Independent U.S. House Candidate Removed from New Jersey Ballot, Partly Because He is Registered to Vote in California

Edward Forchion, an independent candidate for U.S. House in New Jersey, has been removed from the ballot, partly because he is registered to vote in California. See this story, which says he has filed a lawsuit to regain a spot on the ballot. The Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits have ruled that states cannot keep congressional candidates off the ballot just because they aren’t registered to vote in the state in which they are running. It is not known if Forchion’s attorney is aware of these precedents; attempts to reach him have not been successful.

Forchion is also known as N J Weedman, and his ballot label, if he gets on the ballot, is “Legalize Marijuana.” The lawsuit is Forchion v Guadagno, Superior Court, MER-L-1342-14. This article on the web page of the Democratic-Republican Party has a link to the latest brief in the case, the reply brief filed by Forchion on June 18, 2014.


Independent U.S. House Candidate Removed from New Jersey Ballot, Partly Because He is Registered to Vote in California — 40 Comments

  1. You’re pretty much off target here.

    The Democratic Party filed a challenge to Forchion’s petition, claiming that it had insufficient signatures, had incorrect form, and that Forchion was registered in California.

    In New Jersey, the Lieutenant Governor acts as Secretary of State. She assigned the challenge to an administrative law judge (ALJ).

    He dismissed the residency complaint after finding that Forchion intends to reside and vote in New Jersey in the general election. He also dismissed the form complaint, which apparently complained about Forchion’s name being misspelled on one sheet, no circulator’s name on amother, etc. The ALJ cited New Jersey precedent that a petition should be treated as a whole, and not disqualified by parts.

    But the ALJ found deficiencies in enough signatures to reduce the total from 208 to 99, one below the minimum needed.

    The Lieutenant Governor adopted the ALJ’s finding and disqualified Forchion from the general election ballot.

    The news article you linked to may be a result of sloppy reporting, perhaps juxtaposing a statement made by a party spokesman before the challenge was heard; or perhaps it was a quote from an out-of-touch party spokesman after the challenge had been heard, and the residency complaint dismissed.

    Forchion filed a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court against Lieutenant Governor Guadagno, the Democratic Party, and the Democratic congressional candidate.

    That case has now been transferred to an appellate court on the basis that appeals of final decisions of administrative agencies should be heard there.

    Forchion appears to be representing himself. He is joined as plaintiff by Frederick LaVergne, another independent candidate for the seat, who is also representing himself. I don’t know what LaVergne’s basis for participating in the lawsuit is.

    Forchion’s complaint appears to be based totally on the timeliness of the Democratic Party’s complaint, which was faxed to the Division of Elections, and when the deadline was.

    Ironically, Forchion’s campaign website claims that the Republican candidate is a carpetbagger from “up north”. NJ-3 includes parts of both East Jersey and West Jersey.

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