Representatives of NJ Citizen Action and other consumer and civil rights organizations will be joined by Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D-Essex/Morris) and Assemblywoman Mila M. Jasey (D-Essex/Morris) to protest the national trend towards stricter voter ID laws at a news conference on Thursday.
The news conference is scheduled to take place at 12 noon on August 16th at the John J. Renna Jr. House located at 10 Gaston Street in West Orange.
Currently, 33 states in the United States have enacted voter ID laws, with 10 states requiring photo ID. In New Jersey, voter ID bills have been introduced during both the 2010-2011 and 2012-2013 legislative sessions, and nationally, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Illinois) has introduced a nationwide voter ID bill.
“We believe that voting is a vital civil right that is protected by New Jersey’s constitution,” said Jeff Brown, Policy and Communications Coordinator for NJ Citizen Action. “It is disheartening to see voter ID laws popping up across the state border in Pennsylvania, across the country, and even right here in our own backyard. These initiatives seek to disenfranchise the poor, seniors, and people of color and should be condemned by anyone and everyone who cares about the future of democracy.”
A recent analysis by the PA AFL-CIO found that in some Pennsylvania congressional districts as many as 45% of all registered voters and 46% of seniors lack adequate ID. Furthermore, the analysis shows that a quarter of all PA voters who have voted in every Presidential election during the last 50 years lack the ID needed to vote this November.
“The bottom-line is that this is a purely political, coordinated effort to keep large swaths of the electorate from going to the voting booth in November,” added Brown. “As New Jersey’s largest citizen-watchdog organization, we refuse to stand for these laws in New Jersey, in Pennsylvania, or anywhere.”
The Pennsylvania law is currently being challenged in court, and a decision is expected the week of August 13th.
For more information, please contact:
NJ Citizen Action
Details on Voter ID Laws around the country: http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections/voter-id.aspx
Pending Voter ID Legislation: http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections/voter-id-2012-legislation.aspx