TRENTON – Senator Wayne R. Bryant today said he was holding his bill on voting privileges, S-2215, to give Republicans time to understand what it would do.
“From what I’ve been hearing, the Republicans either don’t understand the bill or they’re playing political games,” said Senator Bryant. “I don’t want to play games with the right to vote.”
Senator Bryant invited Republicans and members of the media to read the actual bill and to review its movement through the Legislature, particularly the form it was in when Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee gave it their unanimous support.
“The bill is being mischaracterized by the Republicans as a blanket extension of the right to vote for all those convicted of fourth degree crimes,” Senator Bryant said. “Anyone who reads the bill or who has it explained to them accurately will understand that it would apply only to new crimes of the fourth degree.”
Senator Bryant said the measure would not, in itself, enfranchise a single person when enacted.
“What it really does is alert those of us in the Legislature when we make new crimes of the fourth degree that we must consciously decide whether that offense is of sufficient severity to deprive someone of the precious right to vote,” Senator Bryant said.
“From the recent rantings of Republicans, it’s obvious that we need an education campaign before we vote on my bill,” Senator Bryant said. “It is not my intent to have my bill misrepresented for campaign purposes.”