(TRENTON) – With the goal to ensure every vote by mail ballot is fairly and accurately counted in the upcoming fall election, the Assembly State and Local Government Committee on Thursday approved legislation to extend the deadline for mail-in ballots to be received by the county board of elections.
The bill (A-4259), sponsored by Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson), Nancy Pinkin (D-Middlesex) and Andrew Zwicker (D-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset), would extend the deadline so that mail-in ballots could be received up to 144 hours after polls close and would remove the post mark requirement for ballots received within 48 hours of polls closing.
The measure’s sponsors released the following statement:
“The COVID-19 pandemic will understandably complicate our elections process this fall. However, voting is integral to our democracy, and the pandemic doesn’t change the fact that every voter should be able to safely and conveniently exercise their right to vote.
“As we expect more people will use mail-in ballots in this election, we must address problems we’ve had in the past when valid mail-in ballots were not counted due to delivery delays. Our goal with this legislation is to reduce the number of mail-in ballots that are rejected because they were not delivered in a very short window of time.”