Tell State Committee: NJ Needs Automatic Voter Registration & Early Voting!
UPDATE, 3/27/2018: Thank you to everyone who made phone calls or sent emails. The Senate State Government Committee voted to advance these bills! They now head to the state Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee. Stay tuned for the next action step!
This Monday, March 26th at 11am, a state Senate committee will consider automatic voter registration & early voting. Contact committee chair Sen. James Beach (D-6) today and urge the committee to support these proposals to make voting more accessible to more people!
With an important mid-term election coming up in November, and the primary election just 3 months away, New Jersey needs to take steps now to make voting as fair and accessible as possible. Three bills will be considered on Monday, March 26th, that can help our state take these steps:
- S481 & S651: These two bills would create a system of automatic voter registration as part of a driver’s license application or renewal. Though there are slight differences between the bills, both rely on an opt-out process (DMV applicants are able to decline to register), as opposed to an opt-in system. Automatic voter registration is a cost-effective way to quickly bring about large increases in the number of registered voters, as you can see in the examples of Oregon and Vermont. It also helps keep voter rolls more up-to-date, as people who have moved no longer need to remember to re-register at their new address — it simply becomes part of the process of updating their driver’s license.
- S549: This bill would require that early voting with paper ballots be available to all New Jerseyans in the 2 weeks leading up to an election. Three early voting locations would be available in every county, with extended and weekend hours, to accommodate those who can’t take time off to vote during work hours. Early voting has been shown to shorten lines on Election Day, enable better job performance by poll workers, and increase access to voting.
Contact committee chair Sen. James Beach before 11am on Monday, 3/26, and urge him to support automatic voter registration and early voting. Leave a voicemail at 856-429-1572, or send an email to SenBeach@njleg.org
Your talking points:
- I’m contacting you because you’re the chair of my Senate State Government Committee.
- Support automatic voter registration and early voting — pass these bills out of committee and send them to the Senate floor for a vote!
- There are too many eligible voters who aren’t registered to vote. It’s time to modernize our voter registration system with automatic voter registration at the DMV.
- Ten states and D.C. already have automatic voter registration and have seen big increases in the number of registered voters.
- Early voting makes voting more convenient for working people to get to the polls. Early voting means improved access to voting for more New Jerseyans.