Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc. recognizes the importance of early voting in New Jersey and expanding opportunities for all New Jerseyans to participate in our democratic process. We should make every effort to ensure that those eligible to vote can do so, including people working two or more jobs, single parents taking care of their children, residents who fall ill, senior citizens who may have limited access to transportation, and students balancing school responsibilities and perhaps a part-time job. And in the case of a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy, early voting would go a long way to ensuring an organized and accurate voting process.
The New Jersey Assembly’s passage of early voting legislation (A-3553) spearheaded by Assemblyman John Wisniewski and Speaker Sheila Oliver is a commonsense piece of legislation that aims to make voters lives easier and enhances our voting system. The bill passed today by a vote of 46-31-0-3 along party lines with Democrats supporting and Republicans opposing. We thank all the members of the State Assembly who voted in favor. The Senate version (S-2364: Gill / Whelan) passed the Senate on March 18, 2013, also along party lines, by a vote of 24-16. The bill gives New Jersey voters the opportunity to vote 15 days before Election Day, establishes early voting centers throughout the state and extends voting hours on weekends and weekday evenings.
An early voting bill moves our state in a constructive direction rather than deconstructive, by expanding voting rights and access to the polls not diminishing them as many states around the nation have done through voter ID laws. In-person early voting is practiced in 32 states as well as the District of Columbia. This bill provides an opportunity to benefit all of New Jersey’s hard working families in a commonsense way and we urge Governor Christie to sign it into law.
To view the Assembly vote please CLICK HERE.