Gov. Murphy signs bill requiring automatic voter registration

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Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a measure that makes voter registration automatic for New Jersey residents who interact with the state's Motor Vehicle Commission.

Murphy says the law is needed "in the age of President Trump and voter suppression." The Democrat signed the bill Tuesday after the Democrat-led Legislature sent it to him last week.

The measure makes New Jersey the 12th state, along with the District of Columbia, to have automatic voter registration. Murphy says it is the most expansive automatic voter registration bill in the nation.

“This is a critical part of our effort to create a stronger and fairer New Jersey,” Murphy said. “We are stronger when every New Jerseyan has a say in the future of their community and state. And we are fairer when we break down barriers that have kept some from being able to use their voice.”

The new law says that voters should be given a chance to opt out of registration when they're dealing with the motor vehicle department.

Republicans opposed the measure and say it attempts to address a problem that's not an issue.

Census and state election data show that 95 percent of eligible voters were registered in 2016.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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