Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joseph Cryan, Annette Quijano, Joseph A. Lagana and Celeste M. Riley to have mail-in ballot applications for use in future elections available at polling places received approval from the full Assembly on Thursday.
The bill (A-683) requires that mail-in ballot applications for voting in future elections be available to voters for pick-up at polling places on Election Day. The bill also requires the development of web pages with instructions on how to properly complete and send a mail-in ballot.
“This is simply a matter of convenience. Making the time to pick up a mail-in ballot application may not be so simple for some busy residents, while others may not have access to a computer to download the application,” said Cryan (D-Union). “This is a reasonable way to simplify the process and ensure that people are able to exercise their right to vote come Election Day.”
“Once the polls close, there is no do-over,” said Quijano (D-Union). “This helps give voters some leeway in case they are unable to vote in person on Election Day. It’s also convenient. They can skip the trip to their county clerk’s office and pick up a mail-in ballot application right there at their polling place.”
“Giving voters the option to grab an application at their polling place that they can later use to vote in another election is just smart,” said Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic).
“By making it easier for more New Jerseyans to participate in our democracy, this bill reinforces our commitment to making sure all of their voices are heard,” said Riley (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem).
Under the bill, each county board of elections would be required to make the mail-in ballot applications available at polling places on the day of any election. The Secretary of State, in cooperation with each county clerk, would establish and maintain the web pages with mail-in ballot instructions.
The measure passed 64-13-1 in the Assembly on Thursday after having been released by the Assembly Appropriations Committee earlier this month. It now heads to the Senate for review.