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Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt

Steinhardt calls special session on VBM reform an abuse of power

GOP State Chairman accuses Democrats of rigging the system

By David Wildstein, August 28 2019 12:45 pm

Assembly Republicans didn’t put up any fight yesterday on VBM reform during Tuesday’s session – no legislators spoke up until the bill had already been voted on and passed – but some GOP leaders today smacked Democrats for calling a special session to amend the state’s vote-by-mail law.

“Mark Twain said that, ‘[w]henever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect,’ unless, of course, you’re a New Jersey Democrat,” said Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt.  “Every time New Jersey gives Democrats complete control in Trenton they take everything not nailed to the floor. With this bill, they’ll take your right to choose.”

Steinhardt called the special legislative session a prime example of abuse of power when one party controls state government.

“Trenton Democrats know that our state’s election pattern always swings back to giving Republicans a seat at the table, because of the self serving, predatory nature of their politics,” said Steinhardt. “These new vote-by-mail laws are an attempt to rig the 2019 elections and prevent that from happening in the Murphy Midterms. Everyone must be clear what they’re doing here.  It’s selective inclusion, and it’s wrong, if not illegal.”

State Sen. Sam Thompson (R-Old Bridge) and Assemblyman Ronald Dancer (R-Plumsted) have introduced legislation first suggested by Steinhardt last week, that will extend automatic voter registration to New Jerseyans who apply for hunting and fishing licenses.

“If Democrats are so willing to create special sessions to address our election system, then let’s all come back as soon as possible and amend our new auto voter registration laws,” Thompson said. “If we’re going to dive into automatic voter registration, then let’s jump in with both feet and make it fair across the board.”

Dancer on Wednesday accused Democrats of “using their positions of power to game the election system.”

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) spoke for 34 seconds after the vote to chastise Democrats for not addressing more serious matters than VBM reform.

“Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, there’s no voter in this state who thinks we should return to Trenton on (an) emergency basis and not deal with some of the issues that our voters and our residents are facing,” Bramnick said. “That’s why today I think the limited hearing on one issue is not in the best interest of our state, that at any time we return and open the Statehouse, we should address all of the serious issues facing the state of New Jersey.”

The Assembly voted down a motion by Minority Conference Leader Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton) to immediately address issues to make the state more affordable.

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