Gov. Phil Murphy made a pitch for same-day voter registration shortly before signing a bill allowing early in-person voting, but the former proposal appears fated for the grave.
“The bills that move forward must only be those that further the right to vote, by example for allowing for same-day onsite registration and voting or allowing 17-year-olds to register and vote in our primaries if they turn 18 by the general election,” Murphy said Tuesday.
The Garden State currently imposes a voter registration deadline 21 days before a given election.
Same day registration, which allows voters to register and cast a ballot in a single day, has been made law in 21 states, and though Murphy may support the proposal, another of the state’s top Democrats last week said the policy had no path to law in New Jersey.
“We’re never going to get same-day voting here,” Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) said during a press gaggle Thursday. “There’s just too much opposition in my caucus to it, about concerns, actually, in different sectors of the state that people can really play games with early voting. They’re very nervous about it.”
The Senate president did not elaborate about his members’ concerns.
Over the years, New Jersey has earned a reputation for corruption that persists despite the rarity of voter fraud. Alleged ballot harvesting in Paterson last year that led to voter fraud charges against two councilmen there did little to instill confidence in fair play.