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Bills Sponsored by Gusciora, Stender, Eustace, Wagner & Greenwald to Stop Gov. Christie from Wasting $12M on Special Election & Suppressing Voter Turn-Out Approved by Assembly

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora, Linda Stender, Tim Eustace, Connie Wagner and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald introduced to try to stop Gov. Chris Christie from wasting $12 million on an unnecessary mid-October special election was approved Monday by the Assembly.
One bill (A-4237) sponsored by Gusciora, Stender, Eustace and Wagner would change the date of the 2013 general election from Nov. 5 to Oct. 16. .
The other bill (A-4249) sponsored by Greenwald – the Elections Integrity Act – would allow a registered voter who is eligible to vote at a designated polling place on the day of the special election scheduled for Oct. 16 to be offered the opportunity to vote early, at the same polling place, for the November general election.
Rather than holding the special election to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat on the day of the general election, Christie has decided to waste $12 million with a special U.S. Senate election on Oct. 16.
“What is truly mind-numbing is to expect voters to return to the ballot booths three times in three months at a great cost to taxpayers in reopening schools shut down for the summer, paying poll workers and providing overtime for added police security,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “It adds to public cynicism that government is wasteful and duplicative. That’s just plain nuts.”
“Gov. Christie’s fiscally irresponsible decision serves his own purposes and just makes it needlessly cumbersome for voters,” said Stender (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset). “Wasting $12 million and suppressing voter turn-out is wrong and undemocratic. It must be changed, and we’re giving the governor an opportunity here to do the right thing.”
“We need to be fiscally responsible,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). “This October special election, to say the least, is fiscally irresponsible, and if we can change it and save taxpayer money at the same time, it’s worth the effort.”
“The governor needs to do the right thing for the taxpayers and sign this bill,” said Wagner (D-Bergen/Passaic). “This decision wastes money, disenfranchises voters and puts the voting process at risk.”
“Gov. Christie can no longer claim with a straight face to be fiscally responsible or a defender of the rights of New Jersey voters,” said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “Two elections occurring in such close proximity to one another threaten to confuse voters and decrease voter participation. Permitting voters to vote in either the October or November elections will both reduce the costs of the election and maximize voter turnout.”
The bills still require Senate consideration.