TRENTON, NJ – A new law signed by Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday will give voters more opportunities to cast their ballots at their convenience, through early, in-person voting starting with the 2021 primary election.
“While other states are looking to find ways to keep their citizens from voting, we have consistently worked to ensure that the voices of the people are heard,” said Murphy. “I am immensely proud to sign this legislation today and to remind the nation that our democracy wins when we open the doors of our polling places wide instead of slamming them shut.”
In-person early voting will enable a registered voter to vote at a designated polling place before the day of an election using optical-scan voting machines that read hand-marked paper ballots or other voting machines that produce a voter-verifiable paper ballot.
Designated polling places must be open for early voting on Monday through Saturday from at least 10:00 am until 8:00pm; and on Sunday from at least 10:00am until 6:00pm.
“As New Jersey’s chief election officer, I welcome this opportunity to make our state even more voter-friendly,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “In person early voting will strengthen our democracy by providing voters with more options to cast their ballot.”
“Early in-person voting strengthens our electoral process,” said Senator Linda Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “This law will provide greater accessibility to the polls and encourage greater voter turnout, ensuring the will of the people is adequately heard throughout New Jersey.”
Murphy was joined by state lawmakers and advocates including national voting rights leader Stacey Abrams in signing the new law.
“As other states attempt to rollback voting rights and restrict access to the ballot, New Jersey is once again proving that we are a national leader in defending democracy,” said Nancy Hedinger, President of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey. “We applaud the Governor and Legislature for their recognition that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to voting and that our democracy works better when there are multiple options to participate making the ballot accessible for all.”
Ryan Haygood, president and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice praised the State for "proactively taking pro-democracy steps to expand access to voting for all of its residents, including Black and other communities of color
“Early in-person voting will make voting more accessible, including for Black voters who will now be able to participate in the Souls to the Polls tradition of voting on Sunday after church," Haygood added. "With laws like this, New Jersey is on its way to becoming a model of an inclusive democracy. We are grateful to legislators and the Governor for making this legislation a reality and look forward to working with them to strengthen our democracy even more.”
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