New Governor Could Mean New Election Laws in New Jersey

[Image via Pinterest user JerseyGirl]

The 2017 elections in Virginia have received lots of attention, but just a few hours to the north, New Jersey’s results – specifically, replacing outgoing Governor Chris Christie with Phil Murphy – could soon mean some big changes in election law in the Garden State. NJ.com has more:

Murphy has vowed to expand voting rights, as the Democratic-controlled Legislature attempted to do in 2015 before the bill, dubbed the Democracy Act, was vetoed by Christie.

Democrats wanted to expand early voting, allow for online voter registration and automatically register residents to vote when they obtain a drivers license at the Motor Vehicle Commission, require pre-election materials be printed in more languages, clarify the state’s contradictory succession laws and curb a governor’s power in appointing temporary senators by requiring they be from the same party as the person vacating the seat.

In a message accompanying his veto, Christie said the legislation would have “recklessly replaced New Jersey’s reliable and cost-effective early voting process with a hasty and counterproductive system that would cost taxpayers $25 million initially and millions more each subsequent year.”

This time around, Democrats likely would have the governor’s support.

Murphy says he, too, wants automatic voter registration, online voter registration and same-day voter registration. He also wants 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the general election to be able to vote in the primary. 

Now a simple switch in party control of the governor’s mansion doesn’t guarantee that all of these changes will happen, and there are lots of other issues awaiting action – plus legislative activity can be hard to predict – but don’t be surprised if there are some significant changes to New Jersey’s election laws and procedures in the relatively near future. Stay tuned …

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