NJ Politics Digest: New Voting Law Causing Concerns Ahead of Election

Critics are warning that an effort by Gov. Phil Murphy's administration to increase voter participation might do the exact opposite.

Voting booths.
Voting booths. John Moore/Getty Images

Critics are warning that an effort by Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration to increase voter participation might do the exact opposite.

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“This law sucks,” state Sen. Declan O'Scanlon said in a story on NJ.com.

The new law says that people who voted using a mail-in ballot in 2016 are now automatically considered mail-in voters for 2018. That means a ballot will be mailed to them, and they will have to vote by provisional ballot if they go to a polling place on election day instead. County clerks are complaining that since the law was only signed in August, they have little time to figure out who used mail-in ballots two years ago and mail them new ballots in time for them to vote by election day. The law’s quick implementation is also forcing clerks to spend money that wasn’t budgeted as they work to comply in time.

A Murphy spokeswoman, however, told NJ.com the new law is “a critical step that will help ensure that all eligible voters are able to participate in the democratic process.”

And Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro, the bill’s sponsor, said the law will boost voter turnout, NJ.com reported.

Quote of the Day: “A major tax increase like this will undoubtedly have consequences for passengers.” — Sean Williams, senior vice president for state and local government affairs for Airlines for America, on New Jersey’s plan to raise taxes on United Airlines by $20 million.

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NJ Politics Digest: New Voting Law Causing Concerns Ahead of Election