Tags: voting | ballots | early

NJ Democrats Push Early Voting Law

Friday, 09 Nov 2012 11:20 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

New Jersey Democratic lawmakers are pushing for new voter laws that would allow for early, in-person voting in order to help avoid situations like the chaos that surrounded voting in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
 
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and state Democratic Party Chairman John Wisniewski have complained that the efforts by Gov. Chris Christie's administration to help displaced residents vote were rushed into place and poorly thought out, the Newark Star-Ledger reports.
 
"The most obvious proposal may be to expand early voting," Oliver said. "It works without a problem in other states, so I don’t see why it would be a problem for New Jersey."
 
Chris has said the election went smoothly because Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno quickly set up five ways to make it easier for people to vote, including allowing applications for ballots via email and fax.
 
But according to the Star-Ledger, county clerks were overwhelmed by electronic ballot applications and some residents got busy signals or error messages. The problem forced Guadagno to allow voters to receive and submit electronic ballots before 8 p.m. Nov. 8. A state superior court judge ordered counties to send ballots to anyone who tried to apply by Tuesday’s deadline but couldn’t get through.
 
Early, in-person voting is allowed in 32 states and the District of Columbia. New Jersey already allows mail-in voting. Supporters of in-person early voting say it helps avoid mistakes on absentee ballots, which don’t offer instant feedback like election machines do, and makes it much easier overall to cast a ballot.
 

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