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New Jersey becomes latest state to offer early in-person voting

Gov. Phil Murphy signed the legislation Tuesday alongside former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

News 12 Staff

Mar 30, 2021, 9:40 PM

Updated 1,177 days ago

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New Jersey has become the latest state to enact a law allowing early in-person voting.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed the legislation Tuesday alongside former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. She is credited with expanding voting turnout and access in her state.
Murphy cast the legislation as a contrast to what he said is states turning back the clock to Jim Crow laws.
“New Jersey reminds the nation that our democracy is made stronger when we make it easier for the people’s voices to be heard,” Murphy said.
Voters will start to get nine days of early, in-person voting before Election Day for the November 2021 election.
“In-person early voting is one more vestige of a country that believes in the democracy it espouses, but more importantly believes in the people that it shelters,” Abrams said.
After narrowly losing the Georgia governor's race in 2018, Abrams built a statewide voter registration network. Many credit that network for President Joe Biden's victory in the state last year, and two Democratic senators elected in a January special election.
“We are as a nation always, always stronger when every voice is included and that’s why this work is so critical,” Abrams said.
But not all of New Jersey’s legislators voted to approve the early voting bill.
“This is just absolute grandstanding at its worst from Gov. Murphy, in my opinion,” says Republican state Sen. Mike Testa. “I don't think we necessarily have the time or the money to implement this early voting. We have a real job to do in cleaning up our voter rolls, and that's a real concern to me.”
While Abrams and Murphy railed against Georgia's new voter ID law, Testa believes New Jersey voters should be required to show some kind of government ID at the polling place.
“I know Gov. Murphy's really keen on everyone getting vaccinated, you can't get a vaccine in this state without presenting a form of voter identification,” Testa says. “I don't see the real problem with presenting a form of identification to show that you in fact are the person who's voting on the day in question.”
Murphy said he next wants same-day voting registration. But Senate President Steve Sweeney said last week this won't happen. Sweeney says too many Democrats oppose the idea.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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