Legislation that will permit county boards of elections to set locations of ballot drop boxes was approved by the New Jersey State Senate on Monday.
Republicans largely opposed the measure that passed 25-13.
“I am concerned by partisanship that will be established by this bill,” said State Sen. Samuel Thompson (R-Old Bridge). “There are a lot of opportunities to play political games on where ballot boxes will be placed.
Thompson said that when election board deadlock – each county has two members from each major party – the county clerk will serve as tie breaker.
Democrats have a 13-8 majority of county clerks in New Jersey.
A recent amendment to the bill barred the positioning of drop boxes within 100 feet of an entrance or exit to a law enforcement agency.
The current law requires at last one drop box at the entrance of the county clerk’s office, at buildings where the municipal clerk’s office is located for any municipalities with more than 5,000 residents, and on campuses of colleges and universities with more than 5,000 students.
The new bill removes these requirements.
The plan requires, when possible, at least one ballot drop box would in a municipality with an average per capita income or a median family income at or below 250% of the federal poverty guideline, based on the most recent federal American Community Survey.