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Assemblywoman Shanique Speight (D-Newark)

New law allows county Board of Elections to expand to six seats

Murphy signs bill that could speed vote count

By David Wildstein, July 19 2019 1:12 pm

Legislation that will allow counties to expand the Board of Elections from four members to six was signed into law today by Gov. Phil Murphy.

The exponential growth of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots has made it increasingly more difficult to quickly count ballots after Election Day.

A new law passed last year automatically provides VBM ballots to voters who had requested them in past elections, unless that specifically opt out.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblywomen Shanique Speight (D-Newark) and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Trenton) and State Sen. James Beach (D-Voorhees), requires that county freeholder boards authorize the additional Board of Elections members – one from each party.

The Assembly approved the measure 71-4, and the Senate 26-11.

Board of Elections members are direct appointments of the governor upon the recommendation of county chairs and sign off by the state party chair.

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