Trenton – The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee 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 designed polling places, starting on the 10th day before a general election and ending the Sunday before the election. 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.
“Our accountability over government, opportunities to better our lives and the chance to elect our representatives all depend upon our ability to access the ballot,” said Senator Gill (D-Essex/Passaic). “Passing early voting and implementing electronic poll books will ensure our fundamental right to have our voices heard. There are few rights more important than a citizen’s ability to vote. I look forward to the full Senate passing this legislation.”
“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 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 committee by a vote of 5-0.