Trenton – In an effort to provide real-time results and to bring greater transparency to the electoral process, the Senate released legislation sponsored by Senator Andrew Zwicker and Senator Shirley Turner that will require a periodic public posting of vote totals on Election Night and beyond until a final result is made known.
Under the bill, county clerks in New Jersey would be required, in consultation with county boards of elections, to periodically report the unofficial tally of election results on the night of any primary and general election, every day thereafter and until the election is decided.
“A clear and open election process is one of the foundations of our democracy,” said Senator Zwicker (D-Middlesex/Mercer/Somerset/Hunterdon). “This bill will ensure that clarity, eliminate confusion about results, and serve to counteract misinformation that circulates on social media and elsewhere.”
Under current law, district boards of elections are required to post a notice every two hours on Election Day indicating the cumulative number of voters who have voted in the election by machine and provisional ballot.
The bill would further require that the district level results for the in-person early voting period, the Election Day vote, and the vote-by-mail vote be reported on the county clerk’s Internet site upon certification of the results.
“We are fortunate to live in a state that values the rights of every voter, and works to make sure the democratic process is above board and runs smoothly for all,” said Senator Shirley Turner (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “This bill adds another layer of transparency to one of our democracy’s most time-honored traditions.”
The bill, S-3594, was released by a vote of 34-1.