An analysis of New Jersey voter registration data show that the new vote-by-mail law means that 156,742 voters who used VBM ballots in 2017 and 2018 will automatically receive general election ballots in November, according to Action Together New Jersey.
The grassroots progressive group took a leading role in organizing support for VBM reform.
“Voters should know that it took our state leaders only two weeks to accomplish this legislation. From the time the gap in the VBM law was reported on August 15th to the time that it took to provide a legislative fix to the signing yesterday by Governor Murphy, it was only 14 days to work together to get it done for voters,” ATNJ said in a statement released on Thursday. “This is responsive government at its best: in removing a barrier to vote, voters will have better representation.”
The new VBM reform bill moved quickly after the state Division of Elections determined that the 2018 VBM law required election officials to send mail-on ballots only to those voters who voted by mail in 2016, not in the two subsequent years.
ATNJ praised Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Gov. Phil Murphy and the legislators who supported the legislation earlier this week.
“The critical work that our state leaders did in a rare late summer emergency legislative session helped both the voters and the taxpayers,” the ATNJ statement said. “Taxpayers will no longer have to foot the bill for the annual printing, processing, and mailing of VBM applications from voters who intend to change their habit from voting by machine on Election Day to voting by paper ballot via the mailbox.”