Every State, Every Vote: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy Expands Voting Rights As GOP Govs Restrict Them
“While New Jersey is doing one thing, Georgia is doing the exact opposite.”
Within days of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp significantly rolling back voting rights, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is doing the opposite. Today, Gov. Murphy signed into law an expansion of voting rights, including increasing access to ballot drop boxes and extending early voting periods.
Gov. Murphy said: “While states across our nation turn back the clock to Jim Crow-era voter suppression laws, New Jersey will expand access to the ballot box.”
After losing both the White House and the Senate in 2020, Republicans are waging a war on our democracy to roll back voting access – they have introduced over 250 bills in 43 states with the goal of stripping Americans of their constitutional right to cast a ballot in a free and fair election. Experts estimate their proposals could create hurdles for tens of millions of Americans.
Republicans in other states are following Kemp’s lead – in Arizona, legislators are attempting to ram through nineteen bills aimed at limiting voting rights, and in Wisconsin, a proposed bill would end the practice of giving all electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the statewide vote and instead award electoral votes based on Congressional districts, which happen to be gerrymandered in favor of Republicans. In Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds just signed a bill shortening early and Election Day voting and making it harder to return an absentee ballot.
Gov. Murphy’s likely gubernatorial opponent this year, Jack Ciattarelli, has embraced national Republicans’ attacks on voting rights in an effort to demonstrate his loyalty to Trump. Ciattarelli has been desperately trying to woo Trump’s base in New Jersey – embracing his wild claims of election fraud and headlining a “Stop the Steal” rally similar to the one leading up to the Capitol insurrection. So it’s no surprise Ciattarelli would support discriminatory, unconstitutional laws that only serve to suppress voter turnout and disenfranchise Black voters.
Read more about Gov. Murphy’s expansion of voting rights below and learn more about how Democratic governors are fighting for free and fair elections at EveryStateEveryVote.com.
New York Times: New Jersey Will Expand Voting Rights, as Some States Limit Them
Months after a divisive presidential election pushed voting rights to the fore, the issue has become a key political battlefield.
Bills restricting ballot access are moving quickly in Republican-led states even as President Biden and his fellow Democrats in Washington press for passage of the most ambitious voting rights legislation in decades to help blunt their effect.
In New Jersey, the Democratic governor, Philip D. Murphy, is about to sign a bill authorizing early in-person voting, sending a clear signal that making it easier to vote is crucial for a healthy democracy.
It will be done in a ceremony laden with symbolism: Mr. Murphy will be joined on Tuesday in a videoconference by Stacey Abrams, whose decade-long effort to enroll voters in Georgia helped Mr. Biden win the state and cemented the Democrats’ slim majority in the United States Senate.
New Jersey lawmakers’ final approval of two bills that expand voter access were not surprising in a state where Democrats control the State House and Democratic voters outnumber Republican voters by more than one million. And the practice of early in-person voting is hardly novel: New Jersey will become the 25th state to allow voters to cast ballots in person before elections for a period that includes a weekend day.
But Thursday’s final votes came on the same day that Georgia became the first major battleground state to restrict voting access since the tumultuous 2020 presidential contest, adopting a law that added voter identification requirements for absentee voting, limited drop boxes and expanded the Legislature’s power over elections.
Republicans have already passed a similar law in Iowa, and are moving forward with efforts to limit voting in states including Arizona, Florida and Texas.
Mr. Biden, criticizing voting restrictions that appear designed to appease a conservative base still outraged by the results of the presidential election, said that Georgia’s new law made “Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.”
“What an ironic moment,” said New Jersey Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, a Democrat who was a prime sponsor of the early-voting legislation. “While New Jersey is doing one thing, Georgia is doing the exact opposite.”
Associated Press: New Jersey becomes latest to offer early in-person voting
New Jersey became the latest state Tuesday to enact a law allowing early in-person voting, with Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signing the legislation alongside Georgia’s Stacey Abrams, who has been credited with helping to break the GOP’s hold on her state.
Murphy cast the legislation as a contrast to what he said were “states across our nation (turning) back the clock to Jim Crow-era voter suppression laws.” New Jersey’s new law, he said, would expand access to the ballot box.
New Jersey already had early absentee voting, and most states offer some form of early voting, either in person or by mail.
The measure has been praised by civil rights organizations, including the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union.
New Jersey’s new law stands in contrast to the bill signed into law in Georgia that overhauls state elections there by adding new restrictions on voting by mail and greater legislative control over how voting is run.
Abrams had a narrow defeat for governor in 2018 and has gotten credit for laying the organizational groundwork that helped Democrats capture the state’s two Senate seats and to win the state back from former President Donald Trump last fall.
Lawmakers in New Jersey have sent the state’s Democratic governor two election bills that together would expand voting rights for residents in the state, as GOP-led states move to restrict access to the ballot box elsewhere.
The first bill, given final passage from the state Senate on Thursday in a 28-8 vote, would allow residents to vote 10 days before a general election at specially designated polling sites, according to a release from the New Jersey Senate Democrats. The bill only applies to a June primary or a November general election, according to the lawmakers, but municipalities could adopt an early voting period by ordinance for other elections. The senators also clarified that those who participate in early voting would not be allowed to vote by mail or in person.
A spokesperson for Gov. Phil Murphy said that the governor intends to sign the early voting bill on Tuesday.
The Democratic-controlled state of New Jersey is the latest focal point in the national political battle over voting access rules.
Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey on Tuesday signs into law a bill that will allow for early in-person voting in the state. The bill sailed through the Garden State’s Senate last Thursday.
The Democratic governor, who is up for reelection this November, will be joined remotely for the signing ceremony by Stacey Abrams. The well-known voting rights activist and organizer from Georgia was instrumental in helping President Biden capture the state in last November’s election and helping the Democrats sweep Georgia’s twin Senate runoff elections in January, which gave the party the majority in the chamber.
The move by New Jersey to expand voting access comes as some states where the GOP controls the governor’s office and the legislature are passing bills that would tighten voting access rules. Earlier this month Iowa reduced the number of days it will allow for early in-person voting, and last week in Abrams’ home state, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed into a law a measure that increased voter ID requirements for absentee voting, reduced the number of ballot drop boxes, and expanded the state legislature’s control over elections.
As a bitter debate over voting rights takes place on a national stage, Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday signed a law that will expand voting in New Jersey by allowing residents to cast their ballots in person up to 10 days before Election Day.
It takes effect in time for a critical statewide election this year: the Democratic is running for a second term. And all 120 seats in the state Legislature are on the ballot.
And it comes just days after Georgia’s governor signed a controversial sweeping elections law that imposes new restrictions on people trying to cast a ballot
Murphy was joined in the virtual bill signing by Stacey Abrams, a voting rights activist credited with boosting turnout in Georgia, which went for Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the 2020 elections, and then turned the U.S. Senate blue by electing two Democrats in run-off elections in January.
“In 43 states across this country we are seeing an onset and an attack on democracy,” said Abrams.
The New Jersey bill passed the state Legislature the same day George’s governor signed the controversial voting package.
“Our democracy wins when we open the door to our polling places instead of slamming them shut,” Murphy said during the event.
“Dozens of other states are considering new ways to suppress one of the most fundamental rights of citizenship,” he said. “They claim to love our constitution but only if they get to define who the ‘we’ is in ‘we the people.’”
New Jersey Globe: Murphy signs early voting into law
Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law on Tuesday a bill allowing early-in person voting in New Jersey, winning praise from ballot-access advocates as other states move to restrict voting rights.
“Today — I don’t say this lightly — New Jersey reminds the nation that Democracy is made stronger when we make it easier for the people’s voices to be heard, that our democracy wins when we open the doors of our polling places wide instead of slamming them shut,” the governor said.
The new law requires election officials to operate early voting centers in the nine days preceding a general election. Early voting periods for primaries are shorter, at three days for non-presidential primaries and five days for presidential primaries.