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Johnson Bill that Protects Election Integrity and Prevents Voter Fraud Clears Committee

Trenton – Today, the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Gordon Johnson that prohibits any person from being paid or offered goods or services to be a messenger or a bearer of vote-by-mail ballots.

“The integrity of our elections is paramount to protecting our constitutional democracy,” said Senator Johnson (D-Bergen). “This legislation works to prevent bad faith actors from committing voter fraud and abusing a system that helps many of our residents exercise their right to vote.”

Under current law, messengers are authorized through an application process to deliver blank mail-in ballots to qualified voters who are either family members or residents of the same county. These are often elderly or disabled voters who cannot safely obtain a ballot.

Once a ballot is completed by a voter, a bearer can deliver a limited number of voter ballots back to a ballot drop box, regular mailbox, or to the county board of elections.

The bill, S-2947 would make it a criminal act to be paid or receive gifts, goods, or services to be a messenger or bearer of ballots in New Jersey.

The bill advanced out of committee in a 5-0 vote.