Twp. of Montclair Comm. of Petitioners v. Twp. of Montclair

Weeks after the COVID pandemic hit, a municipal clerk rejected a petition for a referendum. The petition did not have the requisite number of signatures to make it onto the ballot because  – in the clerk’s view – the voter’s e-signature from the online petition did not match the signatures on record with the State of New Jersey Registration Voter System done in pen-and-ink. The Appellate Division affirmed the Law Division’s ruling that the clerk acted arbitrarily and capriciously. The Appellate Division reached its conclusion because of the limiting circumstance of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Governor’s emergency order precluding door-to-door solicitations. Furthermore, the clerk did not provide voters with an opportunity to cure the alleged uncertain signatures before attempting to disenfranchise them from the referendum process.

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