NJ Politics Digest: What Changes in Voting May the New Year Bring?

Look to New Jersey to improve voting access in the coming year.
(Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images) Marc Serota/Getty Images

New Jersey has already instituted automatic voter registration at motor-vehicle agencies, but look for Gov. Phil Murphy and Democrats in Trenton to take further steps to increase voting access in the coming year.

An article in the Inquirer looks at how leaders in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania are working to make it easier for folks to register and vote in their states. Both states, the article says, are lagging behind efforts nationally to improve voter participation.

While Murphy and his fellow Democrats in the state legislature have clashed on many of Murphy’s progressive initiatives, the two sides seem to be in agreement on many of the measures Murphy is seeking. These include allowing eligible residents to register to vote online, same-day registration on Election Day, increasing early voting, and allowing 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections if they turn 18 by the general election. Murphy also wants to allow those on on probation or parole to vote, though, as the article notes, that might not find the same level of support among Democratic legislative leaders.

Quote of the Day: “The reality is people are going to give the president of their own party a leap of faith when they’re specifically called and asked for it,” — Ben Chouake, president of the pro-Israel PAC NORPAC, on Sen. Cory Booker’s support for former President Barack Obama’s deal with Iran.

As NJ and Pa Fall Behind in Voting Access, Governors Call for Reform
While the governors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey have made changes to their state’s electoral systems—Gov. Tom Wolf implemented online voter registration in Pennsylvania and Gov. Phil Murphy enacted automatic voter registration in New Jersey—they’ve had to watch as other states continue to push past them on expansion of voting access.
Inquirer Read more

Automatic Voter Registration at DMV Counts on Honesty From Non-Citizens
The state depends on the public’s honesty when it automatically registers to vote anyone applying for a driver’s license or non-driver identification card through the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
Press of Atlantic City Read more

PARCC Out in 2019, Court Rules
New Jersey schools cannot require high school students to take the controversial PARCC exams in order to graduate, a state appellate court panel ruled Monday.
NJ101.5 Read more

Three Firms Want to Build Wind Turbines Off Jersey Coast
At least three firms are interested in building offshore wind energy projects off the coast of New Jersey.
NJ101.5 Read more

Legal Weed, $15 Minimum Wage, Chris Christie’s Book: 10 NJ Topics to Watch in 2019
In theory, the 2019 political calendar is supposed to a be a relatively slow “off-year” in New Jersey politics, with the low-turnout Assembly races topping the ballot.
The Record Read more

Promises Murphy Kept, and Promises He Didn’t
Gov. Phil Murphy campaigned on an aggressive progressive agenda.
NJ101.5 Read more

After Early Victories, NJ Governor Is Undermined by Lawmakers From His Own Party
During his first year in office, Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey has boasted an open-door policy for legislators whose support he needs.
New York Times Read more

TIME Person of the Year, from Toms River, to Trigger Time Square Ball Drop
As Maria Ressa stands among a group of 11 renowned journalists Monday night at Times Square, where they will trigger the ball drop to recognize the importance of journalists everywhere, former classmates will watch and remember her beginnings in Toms River.
The Record Read more

On Israel Boycott Issue, Booker Stands Alone Among Senate Democrats in 2020 Presidential Race
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker joined most of his Senate Democratic colleagues in supporting President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
NJ.com Read more

FBI Also Examining Trump NJ Golf Club’s Hiring of Undocumented Immigrants 
Not just state but federal investigators, too, are looking into allegations that supervisors at President Donald Trump’s Bedminster golf club hired undocumented workers using fraudulent papers, the workers’ attorney said.
NJ.com Read more

He Just Turned 22, and He’s at the Helm of an Entire New Jersey Town
Most people his age are just figuring out how to handle their personal finances.
The Record Read more

‘I Would Like People Not to Experience What I Experienced’: Rowan President Helps Students Dress for Success
Like me, Rowan University President Ali A. Houshmand remembers being fresh out of college and buying his first new suit.
Inquirer Read more

$31K Raised for Family of Cop Who Took Own Life
Supporters raised more than $31,000 for the family of a Mercer County Sheriff’s Office detective who took his own life at a county building the day after Christmas.
NJ101.5 Read more

NJ Politics Digest: What Changes in Voting May the New Year Bring?