ASSEMBLY, No. 3842

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 22, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman† VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblywoman† ANNETTE QUIJANO

District 20 (Union)

Assemblyman† JOHN J. BURZICHELLI

District 3 (Salem, Cumberland and Gloucester)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Permits certain victims of domestic violence or stalking, and members of immediate family, to register to vote without disclosing street address and cast provisional ballot at any election under certain circumstances.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning the manner of registering to vote and voting by a domestic violence or stalking victim, and members of the immediate family thereof, and amending P.L.1994, c.148 and supplementing P.L.1999, c.232 (C.19:53C-1 et seq.).

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† Section 1 of P.L.1994, c.148 (C.19:31-3.2) is amended to read as follows:†

†††† 1.††† a. †A person who is (1) a victim of domestic violence who has obtained a permanent restraining order against a defendant pursuant to section 13 of the "Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991," P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-29) and fears further violent acts by the defendant, or (2) a victim of stalking, or member of the immediate family of such a victim as defined by paragraph (3) of subsection a. of section 1 of P.L.1992, c.209 (C.2C:12-10), who is protected under the terms of† a permanent restraining order issued pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1996, c.39 (C.2C:12-10.1) and who fears death or bodily injury from the defendant against whom that order was issued, or (3) a person, or member of the immediate family thereof, who swears and declares on a form provided by the commissioner or board, as the case may be, that the person is a victim of domestic violence or stalking, and fears further violent acts or death or bodily injury from an individual, when the person has not obtained a restraining order, shall be allowed to register to vote without disclosing the person's street address.† Such a person shall leave the space for a street address on the original permanent registration form blank and shall, instead, attach to the form a copy of the permanent restraining order, or sworn declaration form if a permanent restraining order has not been obtained, and a note which indicates that the person fears future violent acts by the defendant or individual and which contains a mailing address, post office box or other contact point where mail can be received by the person.† Upon receipt of the person's voter registration form, the commissioner of registration in all counties having a superintendent of elections, and the county board of elections in all other counties, shall provide the person with a map of the municipality in which the person resides which shows the various voting districts.† The person shall indicate to the commissioner or board, as appropriate, the voting district in which the person resides and shall be permitted to vote at the polling place for that district.† If such a person thereafter changes residences, the person shall so inform the commissioner or board by completing a new permanent registration form in the manner described above.

†††† b.††† Any person who makes public any information which has been provided by a victim of domestic violence, or by a victim of stalking or the family member of such a victim, pursuant to subsection a. of this section concerning the mailing address, post office box or other contact point of the victim or family member or the election district in which the victim or family member resides is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

†††† c.†††† The Secretary of State shall develop a standard sworn declaration form to be provided by each commissioner or board, as the case may be, to a person, or member of the immediate family thereof, to swear and declare that the person is a victim of domestic violence or stalking, and fears further violent acts or death or bodily injury from an individual, pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection a. of this section, when the person has not obtained a restraining order and seeks to register to vote in accordance with the procedure established under this section.†

(cf: P.L.2001, c.177, s.2)

 

†††† 2.††† (New Section) Notwithstanding the provisions of any law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, a person who is a victim of domestic violence, or a victim of stalking, or a member of the immediate family thereof, shall be permitted to vote by provisional ballot pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1999, c.232 (C.19:53C-1 et seq.), at an election district different from that selected by, or assigned to, the voter in the voterís registration form, notwithstanding any provision of section 9 of P.L.1999, c.232 (C.19:53C-3) to the contrary, provided the voter:

†††† (1) provides a copy of a restraining order, or completes a sworn declaration form, as described under section 1 of P.L.1994, c.148 (C.19:31-3.2), which sworn declaration form shall be made available by the Secretary of State to each election district for completion by the voter at the election district in connection with the provisional ballot;

†††† (2) provides sufficient proof of change in residency to document that the person has moved to an election district different than that shown in the personís voter registration form; and†

†††† (3) further declares in the affirmation statement included in the provisional ballot that the person, or immediate family member thereof, has not cast a ballot or a vote at another election district for that election.

†††† At the request of the voter, the provisional ballot may constitute a new permanent voter registration form, provided the new voter registration form is completed in accordance with the provisions of section 1 of P.L.1994, c.148 (C.19:31-3.2).

†††† d.††† The Secretary of State shall promulgate rules and regulations, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), necessary to implement the provisions of this section.† ††

†††† 3.† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill allows domestic violence and stalking victims, and members of their immediate families, to register to vote under an existing voter registration procedure that protects the confidentiality of their respective home addresses, even when a restraining order has not been obtained against an offending individual.† This bill also permits a voter who is a victim of domestic violence or stalking, and members of the immediate family thereof, to cast a provisional ballot at an election district different from that selected by, or assigned to, the voter in his or her voter registration form, under certain circumstances.

†††† Under current law, a person who is a victim of domestic violence or stalking, who has obtained a restraining order against a defendant, is able to register to vote using a procedure that assigns an election district to the voter without disclosing his or her street address.† This voter registration procedure is also available to members of the immediate family of a stalking victim.† This bill amends the existing voter registration provision to also allow a domestic violence victim, a stalking victim, and members of the victimís immediate family, to be able to register to vote in this manner even when a restraining order has not been obtained, provided such victim completes a sworn declaration form provided by the commissioner or board of elections, as the case may be, that affirms under penalty of perjury that the person is a victim of domestic violence or stalking, and fears further violent acts or death or bodily injury from an individual.†

†††† This bill also allows a victim of domestic violence, or a victim of stalking, or a member of the immediate family thereof, to be permitted to vote by provisional ballot under the provisional ballot law, P.L.1999, c.232 (C.19:53C-1 et seq.), at an election district different from that selected by, or assigned to, the voter in the voterís registration form, when any provision of section 9 of P.L.1999, c.232 (C.19:53C-3) would prevent the voter to vote by provisional ballot at that election district due to a residency discrepancy, as long as the voter: (1) provides a copy of a restraining order, or completes a sworn declaration form, as described in the bill; (2) provides sufficient proof of change in residency to document that the person has moved to an election district different than that shown in the personís voter registration form; and (3) further declares in the affirmation statement included in the provisional ballot that the person, or immediate family member thereof, has not cast a ballot or a vote at another election district for that election.†

†††† Under the bill, the Secretary of State would develop a standard sworn declaration form, and provide that to the election officials for use in connection with voter registration and provisional ballot completion by victims, as described in the bill.† At the request of the voter, the provisional ballot may constitute a new permanent voter registration form, as long as the new voter registration form is completed in a manner consistent with the mentioned voter registration privacy protections for domestic violence and stalking victims.