Aiming to help county clerks handle the significant number of mail-in ballots expected for the 2020 primary election, the assembly passed a bill sponsored by Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo (D-2) and John DiMaio (R-23) and Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-32).
The legislation sailed through the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee, and later the full Assembly by a vote of 65-0.
The measure (A-3095) would give county clerks an extra week to proof, print, prepare and send mail-in ballots to voters.
The sponsors released the following statement:
“Voting by mail is a great option for many residents, including seniors who may not be able to get to a polling place or college students studying abroad. Voters now also have the option of automatically receiving mail-in ballots for future elections, which will undoubtedly mean more ballots will have to be prepared this year than in past elections. With the threat of COVID-19, it’s imperative we also plan for some people who would normally go to the polls to choose to vote by mail.
“To protect the integrity of our elections process, we have to ensure officials are prepared to accommodate the anticipated influx of mail-in ballots. An additional week will go a long way in making sure every voter who requests a mail-in ballot will receive one in a timely manner and be able to make their voice heard in primary.”
The measure now heads to the Senate for further consideration.