Trenton – The Senate today advanced legislation sponsored by Senators Nia Gill, Linda Greenstein and Shirley Turner that would require an in-person early voting period for certain elections.
The bill, S-3203, would establish an in-person early voting procedure to allow voters to cast their votes in specially designated polling places, starting on the 10th day before a general election and ending the Sunday before the election.
“We understand that there are few rights more important than a citizen’s participation in democracy. If we can travel around the world to promote democracy and the right to vote, we must be willing to invest in the infrastructure here at home to ensure the most effective and efficient voting process possible,” said Senator Gill (D-Essex/Passaic). “With the passage of S-3203 and in-person early voting, New Jersey will expand the access to our most fundamental constitutional right, the right to vote.”
A voter who participates in early voting would not be permitted to vote by mail-in ballot or in-person on Election Day. Early voting would only be required for a June primary and a November general elections but under the bill, a municipality with elections in May would be able to adopt an early voting period by ordinance.
“A secure and resilient electoral process is a vital national interest. Added protections for early voting are an integral part of this legislation,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “For future elections, we must ensure that we have an accessible and secure means of voting.”
“This legislation will encourage and increase voter registration and turnout, especially in off-year elections,” said Senator Turner (D- Mercer). “Early in-person voting sites should and will be easily accessible to all individuals in the county in order to ensure a convenient and fair voting system for all New Jerseyans.”
Currently, thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia offer some form of early in-person voting. In 40 states, early voting is permitted at satellite polling locations.
The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 27-10.