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Beach, Cruz-Perez Bill to Increase Access to Mail-in-Ballots Signed into Law

TRENTON– Legislation sponsored by Senator James Beach and Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez making voting by mail in the Garden State easier was signed into law today by Governor Phil Murphy.

“Voting by mail makes it easier for all residents to participate in our democratic process,” said Senator Beach (D-Camden/Burlington).  “Whether it is a senior citizen who cannot leave the house, or a full-time worker whose job makes it difficult to leave to vote, mail-in-ballots continue to make it a little easier for everyone to vote on their time, not when the polls are open.”

Voters are now allowed to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot when registering to vote. Voters who apply for vote-by-mail ballots will receive mail-in-ballots for every future election unless they are deemed inactive, request to not receive vote-by-mail ballots, or are removed from the voter rolls. Those who voted by mail in the 2016 election will be automatically enrolled as well. Voters still retain the option of voting by mail for a single election.

All vote-by-mail ballots will be accepted up to 48 hours after the polls close if the ballot is postmarked on the day of, or the day before the election. Deadlines for the certification of election will be pushed by two days to reflect this change.

“Turnout has long been a problem in elections throughout our state and nation,” said Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/Gloucester). “This is a great way to increase voter turnout, so that our elections more accurately reflect the will of the people.”

This law takes effect immediately.