Lawmakers propose voting law changes in NJ

Democratic lawmakers are proposing changing New Jersey's voting laws.

Democratic lawmakers are proposing changing New Jersey's voting laws. (6/15/15)

TRENTON - As New Jersey's voter turnout continues to shrink, Democratic lawmakers have unveiled a plan to update some of New Jersey's voting laws.

At a news conference Monday, state Sen. Steve Sweeney blamed the economy for part of the bad turnout. He says too many people are working multiple jobs, leaving little time to get out to vote.

Part of the plan to address low turnout would expand early voting and allow people to participate via the internet.

"It would just make sense to provide more opportunity to vote. Anyone who thinks increasing participation is bad, I'm curious to see who's going to oppose this," says Sweeney.

The plan would allow people like overseas troops to participate. 

"We have created online courses for them to continue their education overseas, but they can't vote to continue to defend the democracy that they fight for every day," says Assemblyman Lou Greenwald.

The reform bill would also end the process of scheduling a special election to fill vacant offices.

The plan, which includes automatically registering anyone who gets a driver's license, must still be signed by Gov. Chris Christie, who has blocked previous attempts at expanding voting. The governor cites costs as a concern.

Earlier this month, only 5 percent of voters turned out for the New Jersey primary elections.

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