ASSEMBLY, No. 556

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

213th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2008 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman RONALD S. DANCER

District 30 (Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Permits voter in resident attendance at school, college, or university to receive absentee ballot for each election without continual request.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act permitting a voter in resident attendance at a school, college, or university to receive an absentee ballot for each election without continual requests and amending P.L.1953, c.211.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  Section 4 of P.L.1953, c.211 (C.19:57-4) is amended to read as follows:

     4.  At any time not less than seven days prior to an election in which he desires to vote by mail, a civilian absentee voter may apply to the person designated in section 6 of P.L.1953, c.211 (C.19:57-6), for a civilian absentee ballot.  Such application or request shall be made in writing, shall be signed by the applicant and shall state his or her place of voting residence and the address to which said ballot shall be sent.

     Any military service voter desiring to vote in any election or any relative or friend of a military service voter who believes that such voter will desire to vote in any election, may apply to the person designated in section 6 of P.L.1953, c.211 (C.19:57-6) for a military service ballot to be sent to such voter.  A military service voter may use a federal postcard application form to apply for a military service ballot.  On any application made by a military service voter the voter may request a military service ballot for all subsequent elections through and including the next two regularly scheduled general elections for federal office which take place after the request is made; if such a request is made, a military service ballot shall be sent in a timely manner to the voter for all such elections.

     Any civilian absentee voter who fails to apply within the seven-day time prescribed above may apply in person to the county clerk for an absentee ballot on any day up to 3 p.m. of the day before the election.

     In the event of sickness or confinement, the qualified voter may apply in writing for and obtain an absentee ballot by authorized messenger, who shall be so designated over the signature of the voter and whose printed name and address shall appear on the application in the space provided.  The authorized messenger shall be a family member or a registered voter of the county in which the application is made and shall place his signature on the application in the space so provided in the presence of the county clerk or his designee.  No person who is a candidate in the election for which the voter requests an absentee ballot shall be permitted to serve as an authorized messenger.  The authorized messenger shall show a photo identification card to the county clerk, or the designee thereof, at the time the messenger submits the application form.  The county clerk or his designee shall authenticate the signature of the authorized messenger, in the event such a messenger is other than a family member, by comparing it with the signature of the said person appearing on a State of New Jersey driver's license, or other identification issued or recognized as official by the federal government, the State, or any of its political subdivisions, which identification carries the full address and signature of said person. After the signature of the application and, when appropriate, authentication, the county clerk or his designee is authorized to deliver to the authorized messenger a ballot to be delivered to the qualified voter.  The Attorney General shall cause to be prepared a standard authorized messenger application form, which may be included with the standard civilian absentee ballot application forms.  The authorized messenger section of the application shall contain the following language above the signature of the authorized messenger: "I do hereby certify that I will deliver the absentee ballot directly to the voter and no other person, under penalty of law."

     A voter who is permanently and totally disabled, and any other voter who wishes to vote only by absentee ballot in a general election, and who states that on a request for an absentee ballot, shall be furnished an application for an absentee ballot by the county clerk for future elections in which the voter shall be eligible to vote, without further request on the part of the voter and until the voter requests that he or she no longer be sent an application.  A voter who is permanently and totally disabled shall have the option to indicate on an application for an absentee ballot that the voter would like to receive an absentee ballot for each election that takes place during the remainder of the calendar year in which the application is completed and submitted.  A voter who exercises this option shall be furnished with an absentee ballot for each election that takes place during the remainder of the calendar year without further request by the voter.

     A voter who is in resident attendance at a school, college or university shall have the option to indicate on an application for an absentee ballot that the voter would like to receive an absentee ballot for each election that takes place during the remainder of the calendar year in which the application is completed and submitted. A voter who exercises this option shall be furnished with an absentee ballot for each election that takes place during the remainder of the calendar year without further request by the voter.

     A person voting by absentee ballot who registered by mail after January 1, 2003, who did not provide personal identification information when registering pursuant to section 16 of P.L.1974, c.30 (C.19:31-6.4) and is voting for the first time in his or her current county of residence following registration shall include the required identification information with the absentee ballot.  Failure to include such information with the absentee ballot shall result in the rejection of the ballot.

(cf:  P.L.2005, c.138, s.3)

 

     2.  Section 7 of P.L.1953, c.211 (C.19:57-7) is amended to read as follows:

     7.  a.  The Attorney General, through the Division of Elections in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall be responsible for providing all information regarding military service ballots, as defined in section 2 of P.L.1953, c.211 (C.19:57-2), and overseas federal election voter ballots, as provided for in P.L.1976, c.23 (C.19:59-1 et seq.).  The division shall also make available valid military service voter registration applications, military service ballot applications and overseas federal election voter registration and ballot applications to any military service or overseas federal election voter who wishes to register to vote or to vote in any jurisdiction in this State.  The division shall publish or cause to be published the following notice in substantially the following form:

      NOTICE TO MILITARY SERVICE VOTERS AND

       TO THEIR RELATIVES AND FRIENDS

     If you are in the military service, or the spouse or dependent of a person in military service or are a patient in a veterans' hospital or a civilian attached to or serving with the Armed Forces of the United States, or the spouse or dependent of and accompanying or residing with a civilian attached to or serving with the Armed Forces of the United States, and desire to vote, or if you are a relative or friend of any such person who, you believe, will desire to vote in the..................................... (school, municipal, primary, presidential primary, general or other) election to be held on......................... (date of election) kindly write to the undersigned at once making application for a military service ballot to be voted in said election to be forwarded to you, stating your name, age, serial number if you are in military service, home address and the address at which you are stationed or can be found, or if you desire the military service ballot for a relative or friend then make application under oath for a military service ballot to be forwarded to him, stating in your application that he is over the age of 18 years and stating his name, serial number if he is in military service, home address and the address at which he is stationed or can be found.

     Military service voters may also apply for a military service ballot by sending a federal postcard application form to the undersigned.

     On the application for a military service ballot, military service voters may request that a military service ballot be sent for all subsequent elections through and including the next two regularly scheduled general elections for federal office which take place after the request is made.

     (NOTE: MILITARY SERVICE VOTER CLAIMING MILITARY STATION AS HOME ADDRESS FOR VOTING PURPOSES MAY NOT USE MILITARY ABSENTEE BALLOT UNLESS REGISTERED TO VOTE IN THE MUNICIPALITY WHERE SUCH STATION IS LOCATED.)

     Forms of application other than federal postcard application forms can be obtained from the undersigned. Dated.....................................................

       (signature and title of Director of Division of Elections)

      ......................................

       (address of Division of Elections)

     b.    The county clerk of the county, in the case of any Statewide election, countywide election, or school election in a regional or other school district comprising more than one municipality; the clerk of the municipality, in the case of any municipal election or school election in a school district comprising a single municipality; and the commissioners or other governing or administrative body of the district, in the case of any election to be held in any fire district, road district, sewerage district, street lighting district, water supply district or other special district, other than a municipality, created for specified public purposes within one or more municipalities, shall publish or cause to be published the following notice in substantially the following form:

     NOTICE TO PERSONS DESIRING CIVILIAN ABSENTEE BALLOTS

     If you are a qualified and registered voter of the State who wants to vote by absentee ballot in the......................... (school, municipal, primary, presidential primary, general, or other) election to be held on................. (date of election) kindly complete the application form below and send to the undersigned, or write or apply in person to the undersigned at once requesting that a civilian absentee ballot be forwarded to you.  Such request must state your home address, and the address to which said ballot should be sent, and must be dated and signed with your signature.  If any person has assisted you to complete the absentee ballot application, the name, address and signature of the assistor must be provided on the application. Also, you must sign and date the application for it to be valid and processed.  No person who is a candidate in the election for which the voter requests an absentee ballot may provide any assistance in the completion of the ballot or may serve as an authorized messenger.  No civilian absentee ballot will be furnished or forwarded to any applicant unless request therefor is received not less than seven days prior to the election, and contains the foregoing information.

     Voters who are permanently and totally disabled, and any other voters who wish to vote only by absentee ballot in a general election, and who state that on their request shall, after their initial request and without further action on their part, be forwarded an absentee ballot application by the county clerk for future elections in which they are eligible to vote and until the voter requests that he or she no longer be sent an application.  Permanently and totally disabled voters and voters in resident attendance at a school, college or university also have the option of indicating on their absentee ballot applications that they would prefer to receive absentee ballots for each election that takes place during the remainder of this calendar year.  [Permanently and totally disabled voters] Voters who exercise this option will be furnished with absentee ballots for each election that takes place during the remainder of this calendar year, without further action on their part.

     Application forms may be obtained by applying to the undersigned either in writing or by telephone, or the application form provided below may be completed and forwarded to the undersigned.

     Dated.....................................................

        (signature and title of county clerk)

       .................................... 

         (address of county clerk)

       ....................................

         (Telephone No. of county clerk)

       APPLICATION FORM FOR CIVILIAN

       ABSENTEE BALLOT

     (Form to be prepared by the Attorney General pursuant to section 17 of P.L.1977, c.47 (C.19:57-4.1)).

     c.     The absentee ballot materials shall contain a notice that any person voting by absentee ballot who registers by mail after January 1, 2003, who did not provide personal identification information when registering and is voting for the first time in his or her current county of residence following registration shall include the required identification information with the absentee ballot, and that failure to include such information shall result in the rejection of the ballot.

     d.  Such notices as described in subsections a. and b. of this section shall be separately published prior to the 50th day immediately preceding the holding of any election.

     Notices relating to any Statewide or countywide election shall be published in at least two newspapers published in the county.  All officials charged with the duty of publishing such notices shall publish the same in at least one newspaper published in each municipality or district in which the election is to be held or if no newspaper be published in said municipality or district, then in a newspaper published in the county and circulating in such municipality, municipalities or district.  All such notices shall be display advertisements.

(cf:  P.L.2005, c.138, s.4)


     3.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     The purpose of this bill is to permit students in resident attendance at a school, college, or university to indicate on the application for an absentee ballot that they wish to receive an absentee ballot for each election that takes place for the remainder of the calendar year.

     Under current law, permanently and totally disabled voters have the option of indicating on an application for an absentee ballot that they wish to receive an absentee ballot for each election that is held during the remainder of the calendar year in which the application is completed and submitted.  Disabled voters who choose this option receive such absentee ballots without needing to fill out additional applications.