Governor Murphy Signs Voting Reform Package to Strengthen New Jersey Elections

Governor Murphy Signs Voting Reform Package to Strengthen New Jersey Elections

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring access to the vote by signing into law a series of bills aimed at strengthening elections in New Jersey. Today’s signings build on reforms to expand democracy enacted under the Murphy administration, including automatic voter registration and early voting in person.

“Across the country, we continue to see one of the fundamental tenets of our country come under attack as states restrict access to the ballot,” said Governor Murphy. “I am proud to sign legislation that will make democracy more accessible, more transparent and stronger in our state. New Jersey will continue to move forward as we ensure the democratic process is secure and protected.

“With this bill, New Jersey continues to expand access to the ballot box and provide additional resources for our election officials, while strengthening the security of our elections,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “The right to vote is the very foundation of our democracy and we are committed to making voting as safe, simple and transparent as possible.”

The Governor has signed into law the following bills:

A-1969/S-138 (Mukherji, Sumter, Egan/Diegnan, Greenstein) – Allows minors to serve as election workers between 5:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on election days

A-3817/S-2863 (Verrelli, Benson/Zwicker, Gopal) – Requires ballot secrecy sleeves at polling place; makes various changes to the early voting and postal voting procedures; creates an online form to update name and residency on existing voter registration record

A-3819/S-2868 (Mukherji, Dunn, Stanley/Cryan, Gopal) – Specifies the circumstances under which the voter will be removed from permanent voting status by mail and when the ballot will be mailed to the primary address; requires an education campaign; made a loan of 5 million dollars

A-3820/S-2869 (Karabinchak, Jaffer, Stanley/Cryan, Gopal) – Prohibits unaffiliated voters from receiving a postal ballot for the primary elections; require election officials to provide such voters with certain notices; prohibits mail-in ballot envelopes from containing a visible political affiliation or designation for certain elections

A-3822/S-2865 (Coughlin, DiMaio, Stanley, Dunn, Danielsen/Zwicker, Cryan) – Modifies certain postal voting deadlines; authorizes the opening and canvassing of absentee ballots before election day; allows a pick-up schedule for certain absentee ballots; requires confirmation notice when voter changes party affiliation at MVC

A-3823/S-2867 (Sumter, Rooney, Benson, Reynolds-Jackson/Lagana, Cryan) – Requires a thorough examination of death certificates two months before the election; enables remote training of some election workers; exempts the remuneration of election workers from tax and remuneration

A-3929/S-2899 (Mukherji, Reynolds-Jackson, Murphy/Turner, Beach) – Allows certain voters residing abroad to vote in certain elections in that state based on their residence abroad or their intention to return

“The only way to strengthen our democracy is to ensure that we can all participate and that the people have confidence in the results and the process”, said Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin. “Working together across the aisle, we have accomplished just that with these new laws. By updating our voting systems to reflect the kind of world we live in today and ensuring that results reported on election night are easily understood and transparent, we are protecting the health of our democracy.

“Protecting the ability of the public to participate fairly and freely in the electoral process is crucial,” said Assemblyman Joe Danielsen, sponsor of A-3822. “With meaningful changes to our election infrastructure, we will be able to hold voters accountable and ensure that the way we count and report ballots remains efficient and transparent. These necessary updates will encourage and maintain public confidence in our elections.

“Reducing the potential for fraud is an absolute necessity to ensure strong and fair elections in New Jersey,” said Assembly members Robert Karabinchak, Sadaf Jaffer and Sterley Stanley, sponsors of Bill A-3820. “Requiring voters who are not aligned with a political party to apply for a mail-in ballot for the primaries will further ensure the integrity of our electoral process.”

“Serving as a poll worker is a unique opportunity for civic engagement for our youth. Today, New Jersey will join many other states in allowing young people to work as election workers, which can be a great experience for high school students or community youth programs,” said Assembly members Raj Mukherji, Shavonda Sumter and Joseph Egan, sponsors of A-1969. “The election bill package signed today will strengthen our electoral process and increase voter participation across the state.”

“New Jersey has made great strides in expanding the means by which voters can vote. We continue to empower residents who wish to participate in the electoral process,” said Assemblywomen Verlina Reynolds Jackson and Carol Murphy, sponsors of A-3929. “The election reforms enacted today, supported by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, will help us ensure that elections in New Jersey continue to be fair, transparent and secure.”

“Ensuring voter privacy will improve the voter experience and build their confidence in our elections,” said MPs Anthony Verrelli and Dan Benson, sponsors of Bill A-3817. “These new laws are necessary steps to ensure a fairer electoral process where people will feel confident when they vote.”

“Legislators understood that the democratic process could not stop, even in the midst of a pandemic. Still, there was a lot of confusion ahead of the 2020 and 2021 elections. Both Republicans and Democrats saw the challenges ahead. Members of the Senate and Assembly have come together with this bill to address these issues and build voter confidence and election integrity,” Assembly Minority Leader John DiMaio, Assemblywoman Aura Dunn and Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney said in a joint statement.

“Absentee voting has become increasingly popular among New Jersey residents as evidenced by our past election cycle,” said Senator Joseph Cryan. “By allowing early canvassing of absentee ballots, this law (S-2865) will ensure that results are available in a timely manner while maintaining and enforcing the integrity of the election.

“During the last election cycle, we faced a shortage of poll workers that threatened the ability of our residents to exercise their right to vote,” said Senator Patrick Diegnan. “This law (S-138) will address this labor shortage by tapping into a new sector of the labor pool.

“I support anything we can do to build trust in the electoral process, which is the backbone of our democracy. This law (S-2867) will help ensure the integrity and accuracy of our voters lists and will also serve to maintain free and fair elections,” said Senator Joseph Lagana. “Furthermore, this law will provide the flexibility needed for election worker training and allow us to maintain a stable and robust roster of qualified individuals available to work on any election day.”

“This law (S-2899) ensures that all citizens of the United States who are eligible to participate in elections may do so,” said Senator Shirley K. Turner. “Even though they do not currently reside in the country, they are still citizens of the United States and deserve to be heard in our election.”

“Ensuring that our elections are fair and genuine is crucial to preserving our democracy,” said Senator Andrew Zwicker. “This law (S-2863) will ensure that confidentiality is maintained throughout the voting process for our voters so that they feel secure when they vote.”

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