Governor Murphy Signs Historic Online Voter Registration Act
New Jersey’s new online voter registration programs considered
one of the best in the country
(Trenton, NJ): Today, Governor Phil Murphy signed (S589/A422) into law, legislation that establishes an online voter registration system in New Jersey and enables all eligible New Jersey voters to register to vote online with an ID issued by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission or the last four digits of their social security number and a digital signature.
New Jersey joins forty other states that offer some form of Online Voter Registration (OVR), which has proven to be the most accurate, secure, and cost-effective method of voter registration. The New Jersey OVR law requires that the Secretary of State’s Office oversee the creation of an online voter registration website and system prior to the 2020 General Election in November. It authorizes the use of a voter’s digital signature on file with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s (NJMVC) database as part of the registration process.
The bill also provides that applicants who do not have signatures in the NJMVC’s database may register to vote online with the last four digits of their social security number, and a submission of a digital signature, similar to OVR systems already in place in Vermont, Kentucky, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Minnesota, and Washington DC.
“We thank Governor Murphy for signing this bill into law and we recognize and commend the hard work and vision of State Senator Loretta Weinberg and Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera, the sponsors of the online voter registration legislation. This law represents the gold standard in OVR. It will help to remove barriers to voter registration, particularly among groups that are already underrepresented in the electorate, while ensuring that the process remains safe, secure, and accurate” said Sarah Jackel, General Counsel of Vote.org
Independent studies show that online voter registration improves the accuracy of the voter rolls dramatically, by significantly reducing the rate of human errors that occur when clerks are required to manually input handwritten information on paper forms into electronic voter registration databases. Electronic voter registration records are five times less likely than paper ones to include errors, and OVR platforms provide increased security by instantly verifying a voter’s identity and eligibility through the use of encryption, secure networks, and unique digital identifiers.
“New Jersey has been long-regarded as a national leader in a representative democracy. It’s about time that we modernized our voter registration process in a way that allows for the greatest amount of access and participation,” added Jesse Burns, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey.
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