New Jersey to Extend Early In-Person Voting

New Jersey’s legislation requires each of the state’s 21 counties to open three to seven polling places for machine voting in the days before an election. For the Nov. 2 contest, there would be nine days of early in-person voting, including two weekends, ending the Sunday before Election Day. The bill calls for fewer days of early voting before primaries. “Our accountability over government, opportunities to better our lives and the chance to elect our representatives all depend upon our ability to access the ballot,” said Senator Nia Gill, a Democrat who represents parts of Essex and Passaic Counties and was a sponsor of the bill. Separate legislation that was also approved on Thursday calls for drop boxes for paper vote-by-mail ballots to be spaced out more evenly throughout counties, ensuring that there are access points closer to residential neighborhoods. “Across our nation, there is a concerted effort to limit access to the ballot box among eligible voters,” Mr. Murphy said in a statement. “Those efforts are un-American and fly in the face of the principles that generations of Americans, from soldiers to civil rights activists, have fought for and in many cases given their lives to defend.” Some county elections leaders, while supportive of the intent of the early-voting bill, had urged lawmakers to delay implementation until after November’s election, when the governor and all members of the Legislature are up for re-election. The bill will require most counties to purchase new voting machines and electronic poll books, and could cost upward of $50 million. Some New Jersey Republicans objected to the cost and the timeline for implementing the legislation, which cleared the Assembly earlier this month and passed in the Senate on Thursday, 28 to 8, largely along party lines. Senator Kristin M. Corrado, a Republican and a former county clerk who managed elections in Passaic County for more than seven years, said she supported early in-person voting. But, she said, she voted against the measure mainly out of concern that there would not be enough time before Election Day to update the voter rolls, purchase new machines and sync them to new electronic poll books.

New Jersey to Extend Early In-Person Voting
New Jersey’s legislation requires each of the state’s 21 counties to open three to seven polling places for machine voting in the days before an election. For the Nov. 2 contest, there would be nine days of early in-person voting, including two weekends, ending the Sunday before Election Day. The bill calls for fewer days of early voting before primaries. “Our accountability over government, opportunities to better our lives and the chance to elect our representatives all depend upon our ability to access the ballot,” said Senator Nia Gill, a Democrat who represents parts of Essex and Passaic Counties and was a sponsor of the bill. Separate legislation that was also approved on Thursday calls for drop boxes for paper vote-by-mail ballots to be spaced out more evenly throughout counties, ensuring that there are access points closer to residential neighborhoods. “Across our nation, there is a concerted effort to limit access to the ballot box among eligible voters,” Mr. Murphy said in a statement. “Those efforts are un-American and fly in the face of the principles that generations of Americans, from soldiers to civil rights activists, have fought for and in many cases given their lives to defend.” Some county elections leaders, while supportive of the intent of the early-voting bill, had urged lawmakers to delay implementation until after November’s election, when the governor and all members of the Legislature are up for re-election. The bill will require most counties to purchase new voting machines and electronic poll books, and could cost upward of $50 million. Some New Jersey Republicans objected to the cost and the timeline for implementing the legislation, which cleared the Assembly earlier this month and passed in the Senate on Thursday, 28 to 8, largely along party lines. Senator Kristin M. Corrado, a Republican and a former county clerk who managed elections in Passaic County for more than seven years, said she supported early in-person voting. But, she said, she voted against the measure mainly out of concern that there would not be enough time before Election Day to update the voter rolls, purchase new machines and sync them to new electronic poll books.