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In re Petition of Thomas F. X. Smith

New Jersey Supreme Court


Decided: September 13, 1971.

IN THE MATTER OF PETITION OF THOMAS F. X. SMITH, MUNICIPAL CLERK OF THE CITY OF JERSEY CITY IN RE: SPECIAL ELECTION OF THE CITY OF JERSEY CITY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
FRANCIS X. HAYES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT. ANTHONY CARBONE, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT, V. GEORGE F. KUGLER, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT

For remandment -- Chief Justice Weintraub and Justices Jacobs, Francis, Proctor, Hall and Schettino. For affirmance -- Justice Mountain.

Per Curiam

[59 NJ Page 237]

These are election matters and because of the inherent time limitations, we heard argument on petitions for certification as if they had been granted. Certification is granted and the matters remanded for further proceedings in accordance herewith.

The single question is whether N.J.S.A. 19:13-7 is arbitrary in its request that the signatures on a nominating petition shall be supported by the affidavits of 5 of the signers that they "saw all the signatures made thereto." No criticism is levelled against the requirement for verification as such but it is insisted that to demand five such affiants serves no public purpose and is therefore unwarranted. We agree. The legitimate statutory objective may be met by a single verification, and the statute will be construed to require such verification and no more. This result brings the statute into harmony with other statutory provisions dealing with the verification of nominating petitions.

Mr. Justice Mountain votes to affirm for the reasons expressed in the opinions of the Appellate Division in these matters. (Smith v. Hayes, 116 N.J. Super. 133, 1971; Carbone v. Kugler, 116 N.J. Super. 130, 1971).

19710913


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