TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg to establish an online voter registration process for residents was approved today by the Senate Budget Committee.
“We need to remove as many roadblocks to voter registration as possible,” said Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen). “Voter participation is the core of a functional and representative democracy. From banking to vehicle registration renewal, we already conduct so many transactions online. There is no reason in this day and age not to add voter registration to that list.”
Arizona implemented the first paperless voter registration system in 2002. As of April 2015, a total of 20 states offered online registration, and another six states, plus the District of Columbia, have passed legislation to create online voter registration systems, but have not yet implemented them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The bill, S-589, would require the Secretary of State to establish a secure Internet website to allow eligible voters to register to vote using an online voter registration form. The bill also authorizes the use of digitized signatures from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s database in connection with online voter registration forms. Under the bill, the Secretary of State would employ security measures to ensure the accuracy and integrity of voter registration forms submitted electronically.
“Many states are already operating online registration systems with success. With the advancements in technology that we have seen, this is clearly the direction that voter registration is going,” said Senator Weinberg.
The bill was approved by the committee by a vote of 8-4. It now advances to the full Senate for further consideration.