Home>Campaigns>After federal lawsuit, New Jersey will allow voter registration through disability transportation agencies

The U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Tony Webster).

After federal lawsuit, New Jersey will allow voter registration through disability transportation agencies

By Joey Fox, August 05 2021 1:21 pm

The U.S. Department of Justice announced today that it has entered a proposed consent decree with the State of New Jersey, settling a voting rights lawsuit that was filed against the state and state officials in March.

The lawsuit specifically charged that the state’s disability transportation programs, including NJ Transit Access Link and the Community Transportation network, had failed to provide voter registration opportunities as required under section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).

“Under the NVRA, these offices must distribute a voter registration application to each person who applies for their services, and along with each recertification, renewal or change of address form relating to such services, unless the person involved declines in writing to register to vote,” the Justice Department wrote. “However, NJ Transit Access Link and Community Transportation programs have not been providing the voter registration opportunities guaranteed by the NVRA.”

According to the terms of the consent decree, the State of New Jersey will designate its disability transportation services as voter registration agencies, allowing them to supply voter registration services going forward. The decree is subject to approval from the federal district court in New Jersey.

“The right to vote is a constitutional principle that forms a cornerstone of our democracy,” said acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig. “We appreciate that the State of New Jersey has worked with us to ensure that all New Jersey residents, including those with disabilities, enjoy convenient opportunities to register to vote.”

In recent years, the state has implemented a variety of changes to its voting procedures designed to make it easier to register to vote and cast a ballot, among them last year’s launch of the state’s first online voter registration tool.

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