[First Reprint]

SENATE, No. 2756

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MARCH 3, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† JAMES BEACH

District 6 (Camden)

Senator† RAYMOND J. LESNIAK

District 20 (Union)

Assemblyman† LOUIS D. GREENWALD

District 6 (Camden)

Assemblyman† WAYNE P. DEANGELO

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Greenstein and Assemblywoman Wagner

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Permits registered voters to receive mail-in ballots automatically for all future elections.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As reported by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee on March 10, 2011, with amendments.

††


An Act concerning mail-in ballots and amending 1and supplementing1 P.L.2009, c.79 1(C.19:63-1 et seq.)1.

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† Section 3 of P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-3) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 3.††† a. †A qualified voter shall be entitled to vote using a mail-in ballot in any election held in this State.

†††† b.††† Not less than seven days before an election in which a voter wants to vote by mail, the voter may apply to the person designated in section 5 of P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-5), for a mail-in ballot.† The application shall be in writing, shall be signed by the applicant and shall state the applicant's place of voting residence and the address to which the ballot shall be sent.† The Secretary of State shall prepare a mail-in application form and shall have the authority to promulgate any rules and regulations the secretary deems necessary to effectuate the purposes of this subsection.

†††† c.†††† Any voter wanting to vote by mail in any election may apply to the person designated in section 5 of P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-5) for a mail-in ballot to be sent to the voter.† A voter who is a member of the armed forces of the United States may use a federal postcard application form to apply for a mail-in ballot.

†††† d.††† Any voter who fails to apply for a mail-in ballot before the seven-day period prescribed in subsection b. of this section may apply in person to the county clerk for a mail-in ballot up to 3 p.m. of the day before the election.

†††† e.†††† (1) A voter who wishes to vote only by mail-in ballot in all future general elections in which the voter is eligible to vote, and who states that on an application for a mail-in ballot, shall be furnished such a ballot by the county clerk without further request on the part of the voter and until the voter requests that the voter no longer be sent a mail-in ballot.† A voter shall also have the option to indicate on an application for a mail-in ballot that the voter would like to receive such a ballot for [each election that takes place during the remainder of the calendar year in which the application is completed and submitted] all future elections.† A voter who exercises this option shall be furnished with a mail-in ballot for each election [that takes place during the remainder of the calendar year] without further request by the voter.† A person voting by mail-in 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 copies of the required identification information with the mail-in ballot.† Failure to include such information with the mail-in ballot shall result in its rejection.

†††† (2)†† In the event that a voter who has requested a mail-in ballot for all general elections or for all future elections does not complete and return such a ballot for canvassing for the fourth general election following the general election at which the voter last voted, the county clerk shall send a notice to that voter to ascertain whether he or she continues to reside at the address from which that voter is registered to vote and continues to be eligible to vote.† If the notice is not completed and returned by the voter to the clerk before the 40th day prior to the next general election, a mail-in ballot shall not be sent to the voter for that or any other future election.† The ability of such a voter to receive a mail-in ballot for all future general elections or for all future elections shall be suspended until the voter submits a new application for such a ballot that indicates that the voter wishes to receive [the] a ballot for all future general elections or for all future elections.

†††† (3)†† The county clerk shall not transmit a mail-in ballot to any person who is deemed by a county commissioner of registration to be an inactive voter or whose registration file has been transferred to the deleted file pursuant to R.S.19:31-19.†

(cf: P.L.2009, c.79, s.3)

 

†††† 2.††† Section 6 of P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-6) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 6.††† a. †The county clerk, 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 municipal clerk, 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 or other special district, other than a municipality, created for specified public purposes within one or more municipalities, shall publish the following notice in substantially the following form:

†††† NOTICE TO PERSONS WANTING MAIL-IN BALLOTS

†††† If you are a qualified and registered voter of the State who wants to vote by mail in the......................... (school, municipal, primary, presidential primary, general, or other) election to be held on................. (date of election) complete the application form below and send to the undersigned, or write or apply in person to the undersigned at once requesting that a mail-in ballot be forwarded to you.† The request must state your home address and the address to which the ballot should be sent.† The request must be dated and signed with your signature.

†††† If any person has assisted you to complete the mail-in ballot application, the name, address and signature of the assistor must be provided on the application, and you must sign and date the application for it to be valid and processed.† No person shall serve as an authorized messenger for more than 10 qualified voters in an election.† No person who is a candidate in the election for which the voter requests a mail-in ballot may provide any assistance in the completion of the ballot or may serve as an authorized messenger or bearer.†

†††† No mail-in ballot will be provided to any applicant who submits a request therefor by mail unless the request is received at least seven days before the election and contains the requested information.† A voter may, however, request an application in person from the county clerk up to 3 p.m. of the day before the election.

†††† Voters who want to vote only by mail in all future general elections in which they are eligible to vote and who state that on their application shall, after their initial request and without further action on their part, be provided a mail-in ballot by the county clerk until the voter requests that the voter no longer be sent such a ballot. †[A voter's failure to vote in the fourth general election following the general election at which the voter last voted may result in the suspension of that voter's ability to receive a mail-in ballot for all future general elections unless a new application is completed and filed with the county clerk.]

†††† Voters also have the option of indicating on their mail-in ballot applications that they would prefer to receive mail-in ballots for [each election that takes place during the remainder of this calendar year] all future elections.† Voters who exercise this option will be furnished with mail-in ballots for each election [that takes place during the remainder of this calendar year,] without further action on their part.

†††† A voterís failure to vote in the fourth general election following the general election at which the voter last voted may result in the suspension of that voter's ability to receive a mail-in ballot for all future general elections or all future elections unless a new application is completed and filed with the county clerk.

†††† 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)

†††† b.††† (1) The Secretary of State shall be responsible for providing all information regarding overseas federal election voter ballots to each voter eligible for such a ballot pursuant to P.L.1976, c.23 (C.19:59-1 et seq.).† The secretary shall also make available valid overseas federal election voter registration and ballot applications to any voter who is a member of the armed forces of the United States and who is a permanent resident of this State, or who is an overseas federal election voter who wishes to register to vote or to vote in any jurisdiction in this State.† The secretary shall provide such public notice as may be deemed necessary to inform members of the armed forces of the United States and overseas federal election voters how to obtain valid overseas federal election voter registration and ballot applications.

†††† (2)†† The Secretary of State shall undertake a program to inform voters in this State about their eligibility to vote by mail pursuant to this act.† Dissemination of this information shall be included in the standard notices required by this section and other provisions of current law, including but not limited to the notice requirements of R.S.19:12-7, and shall be effectuated by such means as the secretary deems appropriate and to the extent that funds for such dissemination are appropriated including, but not limited to, by means of Statewide or local electronic media, public service announcements broadcast by such media, notices on the Internet site of the Department of State or any other department or agency of the Executive Branch of State government or its political subdivisions deemed appropriate by the secretary, and special mailings or notices in newspapers or other publications circulating in the counties or municipalities of this State.

†††† c.†††† The mail-in ballot materials shall contain a notice that any person voting by mail-in ballot who has registered 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 copies of the required identification information with the mail-in ballot, and that failure to include such information shall result in the rejection of the ballot.

†††† d.††† The notice provided for in subsection a. of this section shall be published before 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 each 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 is published in the municipality or district, then in a newspaper published in the county and circulating in the municipality or district.† All such notices shall be display advertisements.

(cf: P.L.2009, c.79, s.6)

 

†††† 13.†† (New section) a. Any voter who has opted to received a mail-in ballot for all general elections or for all other elections, pursuant to law, and has not voted in the election for which the ballot has been received and appears at the polling place to which the voter would be assigned if voting in person on the day of a general election or any other election, shall be permitted to vote in person by provisional ballot pursuant to section 20 of P.L.2009, c. 79 (C.19:63-20).

†††† b.††† Following the election, the voter shall be removed from the list of voters who automatically receive a mail-in ballot for all future general elections or for all future elections, if the voter had selected such an option.

†††† c.†††† In order to again receive a mail-in ballot for all future general elections or for all future elections, the voter shall be required to apply in the manner provided by law to be placed on the list of voters who wish to receive a mail-in ballot for such elections.

†††† d.††† The clerk of each county shall have the option to decide whether a county is to comply with the provisions of subsection b. of this section.1

 

†††† 1[3.] 4.1†††† This act shall take effect immediately.