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Moriarty, DeAngelo, Lagana & Danielsen Bill to Permit Overseas & Military Voters to Vote Using Internet Advances

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Paul Moriarty, Wayne DeAngelo, Joseph Lagana and Joe Danielsen to permit overseas and military voters to vote using the Internet was released Thursday by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
“Every vote counts, but they especially must count for those protecting our freedom in the military,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “This is a common sense, 21st century bill.”
“Military deployment or temporarily living overseas should not continue to preclude an individual from participating in elections,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “This bill will help us test the possibility of voting over the internet in a safe and responsible way.”
“The internet has expanded the way we view participation in the electoral process,” said Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic). “In this case, it may allow us to include a segment of the population that has been left out until now. Every resident who can vote and wants to vote should be able to cast a ballot, especially those in our military.”
“Online voting is largely unexplored terrain,” said Danielsen (D-Somerset/Middlesex). “However, it is a concept that deserves exploring if it means every New Jerseyan has the opportunity to participate in elections.”
The bill (A-633) establishes a pilot project to permit overseas voters to vote in elections using the Internet.
The pilot project would be for the primary election and general election occurring in the calendar year in which the bill takes effect. Under the bill, the term “overseas voter” includes any person in military service who, by reason of active duty or service, is absent on the date of the election from the place of residence in New Jersey where the person is or would be qualified to vote.
Specifically, the bill, as amended, requires the Secretary of State to:
· Create an Internet-based voting system for the pilot project that: (a) uses such technology as may be available to ensure the authentication of the voter, the security of the ballot being voted, the privacy of the voter casting the ballot, the ability to audit or verify the voting process by the voter and third party entities, the control of the voting process by the appropriate election officials, the integrity of the voting process for the elections at which Internet voting is to be available and the compatibility of that process with the voting system currently used by an overseas voter; (b) employs to the extent possible any guidelines for an Internet voting pilot project that assists overseas voters that are proposed or promulgated by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission or any other agency of the federal government; and (c) adopts, where possible, the best practices used in similar projects in other states and countries;
· Consult with representatives of the clerks of the counties, the superintendents of elections and the county boards of election with regard to the development and implementation of the pilot project; (3) provide sufficient and accessible notice and information to the public and overseas voters with respect to the pilot project and the requirements for such voters to participate in the elections at which Internet voting is to be available; and (4) promulgate such temporary rules and regulations as the secretary deems necessary to effectuate the purpose of this bill.
The secretary must submit to the Governor and the Legislature no later than the 120th day following the day of the general election at which the pilot project is operative a written report with recommendations as to whether: (1) Internet voting for overseas voters should not be adopted at present; or (2) the pilot project should be expanded and a further assessment of its feasibility should be conducted; or (3) Internet voting for overseas voters should be adopted permanently by law.
The bill provides that there would be appropriated from the General Fund such sums as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Department of the Treasury deems necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act.