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Beach Bills to Discourage Electioneering and Expand Mail-in Ballot Applications Advance


TRENTON – The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee advanced two bills, both sponsored by Senator James Beach and one additionally sponsored by Senator Shirley Turner that are aimed at combatting electioneering and providing more access to mail-in voting applications.

“These bills will strengthen the integrity of our elections and encourage citizens to take a more active role in the voting process. By prohibiting electioneering within twenty-five feet of those waiting to vote, as well as making mail-in ballot applications more accessible when people go to their polling places, we can protect voters from intimidation and increase participation,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden), the Chair of the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee.

S-1230 would prohibit electioneering within 25 feet of a person waiting in line at a polling place or ballot drop box in an area that is farther than 100 feet from the polling place or ballot drop box. Violations of this provision would constitute a disorderly persons offense. A disorderly persons offense can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.

“Under current law, electioneering is only prohibited inside a polling place and within 100 feet of the outside entrance to a polling place or a ballot drop box. Due to this, voters who have to wait in a line can be subject to attempts to influence their vote,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “By further prohibiting potentially intimidating activity targeted at voters, our elections will be more secure and voters will feel safer when casting their ballots.”

S-1255 would require mail-in ballot applications to be available at polling places on Election Day in future elections. The County Clerk would be required to make these applications available.

The bills were both advanced in unanimous votes.