A bill allowing for pre-Election Day counting of absentee and early votes has failed to advance through the legislature this session; the bill had been cleared by a Senate committee, but did not come before the full Senate or an Assembly committee.
State Sen. Troy Singleton (D-Delran), one of the bill’s sponsors, said that he intended to push for its passage once again when the next legislative session convenes.
“One of the things we learned about this last election is, in order to ensure that there is confidence in elections, we want to make sure votes are counted in as expeditious a manner as possible,” Singleton said. “During 2020, we had this process in place, so we’re looking to replicate it now moving forward and make it permanent.”
Singleton added that the failure of the bill this session was not due to political opposition, but simply because there was not enough time to get it through both houses of the legislature.
“We didn’t have time to get it moved in the Assembly,” Singleton said. “We’ll get it going next session.”
If the bill does eventually succeed, it will make permanent a policy that was temporarily instituted for the 2020 general election, which was largely conducted by mail. Last year’s state elections did not have such a policy in place, and partially as a result witnessed significant difficulties in counting votes efficiently.