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Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Assembly panel advances remote voting bill

By Nikita Biryukov, March 16 2020 1:46 pm

An Assembly panel advanced to measures allowing state lawmakers to hold votes remotely Monday.

The text of the measure, A3852, is not yet available, and it is unclear what limitations the bill carries with it.

Earlier Monday, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin cited the measure when asked about the possibility of the statehouse being shuttered by the threat posed by COVID-19.

“Are we concerned about it? Yes. You’d be a fool not to be concerned about it,” Coughlin said. “That’s one of the reasons Jon (Bramnick) and I co-sponsored the bill to allow electronic voting in the event that needs to happen. I think that’s something we’d use only in the rarest of circumstances but might be necessary.”

The bill passed the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee unanimously.

A3852 and another measure allowing local officials to hold votes electronically will come before the full Assembly later Monday.

The State Senate is set to take up the measures on March 23.

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