AG issues guidance to ensure voters can cast ballots safely, without fear of intimidation
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal issued guidance to the state’s law enforcement leaders to ensure that voters can cast their ballots safely and without fear of intimidation in the upcoming November election.
“As Election Day approaches and voting has begun across the country, we already have begun to hear allegations of voter intimidation in other states,” Grewal said in a statement. “Today we clarify how law enforcement leaders across the state can best support local and state officials in maintaining the integrity of our voting system, and protecting the right to vote, in accordance with the highest ideals of our democracy.”
The guidance “emphasizes both specific rules regarding law enforcement activity at polling places, as well as the importance of protecting the state’s voters from intimidation and coercion as they exercise the right to vote.”
Grewal says that county and local civilian election officials oversee elections in New Jersey. Law enforcement officers should only be on hand to maintain public safety and to enforce laws securing the right to vote and protecting voters from intimidation and harassment.
New Jersey’s election is being done mostly by mail this year because of COVID-19 concerns. But voters will be able to drop their ballots off at polling locations on Election Day.
State officials say that more than 1 million people have already cast their ballot by mail. This is about 30% of the turnout for the 2016 presidential election. Experts and officials say the turnout, which is typically higher in presidential years, could be headed for 2008 levels when it reached 73%.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.