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New Jersey Statehouse. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Assembly advances online voter registration bill

Measure passes 8-0 with three abstentions

By Nikita Biryukov, January 06 2020 8:49 pm

An Assembly panel advanced a bill that would allow online voter registration without any dissenting votes Monday.

The measure, A422, pass the Assembly appropriations committee with eight yes votes and three abstentions.

Assembly members Serena DiMaso, Jay Webber and John DiMaio, who sat on the committee in place of Assemblyman Ryan Peters, abstained on the measure, which passed the Senate in a vote along party lines in June of 2018. Assemblyman Kevin Rooney was the only Republican to issue a yes vote on the bill.

“The reality is New Jersey is trailing behind 80% of the rest of the country … Over the past two decades, 39 states and D.C. have passed and adopted online voter registration. These are liberal and conservative places, rural and urban,” said Sarah Jackel, general counsel of Vote.org. “It hasn’t been a controversial issue because, quite frankly, online voter registration represents one of the most important and wide-ranging improvements for registration of our lifetimes.”

While the bill would come with some up-front costs related to establishing the registration system, activists supporting the bill said it would reduce the costs in the long run by reducing the cost of processing each voter registration and reducing workloads for election officials.

The measure would also increase the accuracy of voter rolls, the activists said.

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