Facing some pressure for potentially putting some New Jersey voters at risk of being disenfranchised from voting, acting Motor Vehicles Commission Administrator Latrecia Littles-Floyd has reversed course and will now make a few employees available to work on Election Day, a state holiday.
“The Motor Vehicle Commission values the importance of providing accurate data to the Division of Elections to ensure that all residents are able to cast their ballot in this year’s elections,” said William Connolly, a spokesman for the agency. “MVC will continue its supporting role with the Division of Elections by providing personnel on Election Day for any necessary reviews of MVC data.”
The capitulation of Littles-Floyd came one day after the New Jersey Globe reported the MVC declined to call in a small number of employees on Election Day, to deal with any real-time questions on voter registrations originating from motor vehicle agencies.
It’s still not clear why Littles-Floyd refused to activate a small team of workers in the first place.
The state has acknowledged that some glitches in their computer system led to a Flemington man nearly losing his right to vote in the current election. His change of address last February, including a “skip the trip” option that allowed him to update his voter registration online, was never transmitted to election officials of the address change, leaving him without a valid voter registration.
The voter, John M. Patten, testified that he asked the MVC to notify election officials, but Beth Thompson, the administrator of the Hunterdon County Board of Elections, told the court that she spoke with a MVC employee who said there was a glitch in their system.
The state Motor Vehicle Commission became involved in election matters in 2018 after Gov. Phil Murphy signed a new law allowing voters to register to vote at MVC agencies. That makes their refusal to provide some staffing on Election Day to be inexplicable.
Six county election officials told the New Jersey Globe on Friday that only the MVC can confirm if a voter is caught up in the glitch, since they only have access to information that is transmitted to them by the MVC and not to dates where an individual changed their address.