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 securing access to voting rights by signing a series of bills to strengthen New Jersey’s elections. Today’s signings build on reforms to expand democracy enacted during the Murphy Administration, including automatic voter registration and in-person early voting.
“Across the nation, we continue to see one of our nation’s core principles 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 that the democratic process is secure and protected.” 
“With this bill package, New Jersey continues to expand access to the ballot box and provide additional resources to our election officials, while strengthening the security of our elections,” Secretary of State Tahesha Way said. “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 signed the following bills into law: 
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 privacy sleeves at polling place; makes various changes to early and mail-in voting procedures; creates online form to update name and residence on existing voter registration record
A-3819/S-2868 (Mukherji, Dunn, Stanley/Cryan, Gopal) – Specifies circumstances when voter will be removed from permanent vote by mail status and when ballot will be sent to primary address; requires educational campaign; makes appropriation of $5 million
A-3820/S-2869 (Karabinchak, Jaffer, Stanley/Cryan, Gopal) – Prohibits unaffiliated mail-in voters from receiving mail-in ballot for primary election; requires election officials to provide such voters certain notices; prohibits mail-in ballot envelopes from containing visible political affiliation or designation for certain elections
A-3822/S-2865 (Coughlin, DiMaio, Stanley, Dunn, Danielsen/Zwicker, Cryan) – Changes certain mail-in ballot deadlines; permits opening and canvassing of mail-in ballots prior to election day; permits pickup schedule for certain mail-in ballots; requires confirmation notice when voter changes party affiliation at MVC
A-3823/S-2867 (Sumter, Rooney, Benson, Reynolds-Jackson/Lagana, Cryan) – Requires enhanced review of death records two months prior to election; permits remote training for certain election workers; exempts election worker compensation from taxation and remuneration
A-3929/S-2899 (Mukherji, Reynolds-Jackson, Murphy/Turner, Beach) – Allows certain voters residing overseas to vote in certain elections in this State depending on overseas residency or intent to return
“The only way to strengthen our democracy is to make sure we can all participate in it, and that the people have trust in the results and the process,” said Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin. “Working together across the aisle, we accomplished just that with these new laws. By updating our voting systems to reflect the kind of world we live in today and ensuring the results reported on election night are easily understood and transparent, we safeguard the health of our democracy.”
“Protecting the public’s ability 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 empower voters and ensure the way we count and report ballots remains efficient and transparent. These necessary updates will encourage and preserve public trust in our elections.” 
“Reducing the potential for fraud is an absolute necessity to ensure strong, fair elections in New Jersey,” said Assembly members Robert Karabinchak, Sadaf Jaffer, and Sterley Stanley, sponsors of the bill A-3820.  “Requiring voters who are not aligned with a political party to request a mail-in ballot for primaries will further guarantee integrity in our election 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 youth to work as poll 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 collective of election laws signed today will strengthen our election process and increase participation of voters throughout the state.” 
“New Jersey has made great strides in expanding the ways voters can cast their ballot. We continue to empower residents who want to participate in the election process,” said Assemblywomen Verlina Reynolds Jackson and Carol Murphy, sponsors of A-3929. “The election reforms signed into law today, supported by legislators from both sides of the aisle, will help us to ensure New Jersey elections continue to be fair, transparent, and secure.”
“Ensuring voter privacy will enhance the voter experience and strengthen their trust in our elections,” said Assembly members Anthony Verrelli and Dan Benson, sponsors of the bill A-3817.  “These new laws are necessary steps toward ensuring a fairer election process where people will feel confident when casting their vote.”
“Lawmakers understood the democratic process could not stop, even in the midst of a pandemic. Still, there was much confusion going into the 2020 and 2021 elections. Both Republicans and Democrats saw the challenges that arose. Senate and Assembly members came together with this bill package to address those problems and strengthen voter confidence and election integrity,” said Assembly Minority Leader John DiMaio, Assemblywoman Aura Dunn and Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney in a joint statement. 
“Voting by mail has become increasingly popular among New Jersey residents as evidenced by our past election cycle,” said Senator Joseph Cryan. “By allowing early canvassing of mail-in ballots, this law (S-2865) will ensure results are available in a timely manner while maintaining and upholding election integrity.”
“Last election cycle we faced a poll worker shortage that threatened our residents’ ability to exercise their right to vote,” said Senator Patrick Diegnan. “This law (S-138) will alleviate this worker shortage by tapping into a new sector of the labor pool.”
“I am in support of all we can do to bolster trust in the electoral process, which is a backbone of our democracy. This law (S-2867) will help ensure the integrity and accuracy of our voting rolls and will also serve to uphold free and fair elections,” said Senator Joseph Lagana. “In addition, this law will bring needed flexibility for training election workers, and allow us to maintain a steady and strong roster of qualified individuals available to work on any election day.” 
“This law (S-2899) guarantees that all citizens of the United States who are eligible to participate in elections are able to do so,” said Senator Shirley K. Turner. “Even though they may not be currently residing in the country, they are still citizens of the United States and deserve to be heard in our elections.”
“Ensuring our elections are fair and genuine is crucial in preserving our democracy,” said Senator Andrew Zwicker. “This law (S-2863) will guarantee that privacy is maintained through the entire voting process for our voters so that they feel secure when casting their ballots.”
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