Gov Christie's Real Special Election Motive? Voter Suppression
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had two options for filling the Senate seat vacated by the late progressive hero Senator Frank Lautenberg: hold a special election on November 5th, the date of the 2013 general election, or appoint a placeholder and hold the election as regularly scheduled in November 2014.
Christie stunned the country by doing neither, instead calling a special election for October 16th, just three weeks prior to the general election. Christie’s decision will cost New Jersey taxpayers $24 million, by one estimate.
Wasting $24 million of taxpayers’ money is bad, but that’s not actually the worst part.
You see, October 16th falls on a Wednesday–not a Tuesday like nearly every other election held in the United States. Holding an election on aWednesday is bound to confuse many voters, and Governor Christie knows it.
Christie’s move is one of the most brazen attempts to suppress Democratic votes in recent memory. Unfortunately it’s part of a larger effort by Republican governors to make it difficult for Democrats to cast a ballot by limiting early voting, limiting acceptable forms of ID, and changing the rules without warning.
When New Jersey passed early voting, Governor Christie vetoed the bill, calling it a waste of taxpayer money.
Now Christie is wasting $24 million in taxpayers’ money to make sure that as few people as possible vote in both the October special and regular November 2013 general elections, when Christie himself is on the ballot.
The Star-Ledger newspaper called it “a shameless move that will…risk the integrity of the vote.”
We thought we had seen every voter suppression trick in the book, until Governor Christie invented a new one.