Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Louis D. Greenwald and Wayne P. DeAngelo that would allow registered voters in New Jersey to choose to vote by mail-in ballot in all future general elections or in all future general elections, forever, was released Thursday from the Assembly State Government Committee.
“Voting by mail is one of the easiest ways to participate in our representative democracy,” said Greenwald (D-Camden). “Giving voters the choice to continue receiving mail-in ballots in perpetuity will help increase participation in elections and makes it that much easier for busy individuals to remember to vote.”
Current law allows a registered New Jersey voter to choose to receive mail-in ballots in all future general elections, until the voter notifies the county clerk that he or she no longer wishes to do so or to receive mail-in ballots for all elections occurring in a particular calendar year.
Under the Greenwald/DeAngelo bill (A-3921/S-2756), registered New Jersey voters would be able to choose to receive mail-in ballots for all future elections, forever, until the voter notifies the county clerk that he or she no longer wishes to do so.
If a voter receiving mail-in ballots fails to vote in four general elections in a row, the county clerk would be required to send a notice to that voter to ascertain whether he or she continues to live at the specified address. If the notice is returned within 40 days prior to the next general election, the voter will continue to receive mail-in ballots. If it is not returned, the ability for the voter to receive mail-in ballots would be suspended until such time as he or she submits a new application for the service.
“Having to resubmit a request to receive mail-in ballots for all elections year after year is cumbersome, confusing and can lead to some voters failing to renew in time to vote in a particular election,” said DeAngelo. “By giving voters the option to continue receiving mail-in ballots for every election, forever, we remove the confusion and make the process as simple as it should have been from the get go.”
The measure now heads to the Assembly Speaker, who decides if and when to post it for a floor vote.