ASSEMBLY, No. 3726

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MAY 19, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† ARTHUR BARCLAY

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblyman† BENJIE E. WIMBERLY

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblywoman† SHAVONDA E. SUMTER

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman† JAMEL C. HOLLEY

District 20 (Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes automatic voter registration process using MVC applicant information to be transmitted to Secretary of State; permits applicant to decline voter registration.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act establishing an automatic voter registration process using Motor Vehicle Commission applicant information and amending and supplementing various parts of the statutory law.

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† (New section)† Notwithstanding any law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission shall transmit to the Secretary of State electronic records containing the legal name, age, residence, citizenship, and digitized signature of each applicant for a motor vehicle driverís license or non-driver identification card, who meets the criteria specified by the Secretary of State that would make that applicant eligible to be a legal voter, for automatic voter registration purposes as specified under this section.

†††† Upon receiving an applicantís electronic record and digitized signature, the Secretary of State shall transmit the information to the county commissioner of registration of the county in which the applicant resides.† The county commissioner of registration shall notify the applicant of the automatic voter registration, and shall inform the applicant of the process to decline being registered to vote or, if not declining, of the option to select a political party affiliation.† If the applicant does not decline the voter registration within 30 calendar days after the county commissioner of registration issues the notification, the applicantís electronic record and digitized signature shall constitute a complete voter registration form for the purposes of Title 19 of the Revised Statutes, and the applicant shall be registered to vote if the county commissioner of registration determines that the applicant is eligible to register to vote pursuant to Article II, Section I, paragraph 3 of the New Jersey Constitution and Title 19 of the Revised Statutes, and is not disqualified.† A county commissioner of registration shall delete the electronic record and digitized signature of an applicant who declines to be registered to vote pursuant to this section.

†††† Notwithstanding the provisions of any law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, a person who is 17 years of age shall be eligible to be registered to vote in accordance with the provisions of this section, provided that the personís registration shall become official on the personís 18th birthday.

†††† The Chief Administrator shall also transmit to the Secretary of State the electronic record and digitized signature of an applicant who is updating the legal name or address information on an existing motor vehicle driverís license or non-driver identification card, who meets the criteria specified by the Secretary of State that would qualify that applicant as a legal voter, for automatic voter registration purposes as specified under this section and for updating an existing voter registration record.

†††† The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, shall promulgate the rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this section.

 

†††† 2.††† R.S.19:31-6 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 19:31-6.† Any person qualified to vote in an election shall be entitled to vote in the election if the person shall have registered to vote on or before the 21st day preceding the election by:†

†††† a.††† registering in person at any offices designated by the commissioner of registration for providing and receiving registration forms;

†††† b.††† [completing a voter registration form] registering automatically while applying for a motor vehicle driver's license [from an agent of] or non-driver identification card at the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, as provided for in section 1 of P.L.††† ††††, c.† †††(C.† ††††††) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and section 24 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.39:2-3.2);†††

†††† c.††† completing and returning to the [Attorney General] Secretary of State or having returned thereto a voter registration form received from a voter registration agency, as defined in subsection a. of section 26 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.19:31-6.11), while applying for services or assistance or seeking a recertification, renewal or change of address at an office of that agency;

†††† d.††† completing and returning to the [Attorney General] Secretary of State a voter registration form obtained from a public agency, as defined in subsection a. of section 15 of P.L.1974, c.30 (C.19:31-6.3);†

†††† e.††† completing and returning to the [Attorney General] Secretary of State or having returned thereto a voter registration form received from a door-to-door canvass or mobile registration drive, as provided for in section 19 of P.L.1974, c.30 (C.19:31-6.7);

†††† f.†††† completing and returning to the [Attorney General] Secretary of State a federal mail voter registration form, as prescribed in subsection (b) of section 9 of the "National Voter Registration Act of 1993," (42 U.S.C. s.1973gg et seq.);

†††† g.††† completing and returning to the [Attorney General] Secretary of State or the appropriate county clerk an application for a federal postcard application form to register to vote, as provided for in the "Overseas Absentee Voting Act" (42 U.S.C. s.1973ff-1 et seq.) and section 4 of P.L.1976, c.23 (C.19:59-4);or

†††† h.††† completing a provisional ballot affirmation statement and voting the provisional ballot in the previous election, if the person who submitted the provisional ballot in that election is determined not to be a registered voter.

†††† When the commissioner has designated a place or places other than his office for receiving registrations, the commissioner shall cause to be published a notice in a newspaper circulated in the municipality wherein such place or places of registration shall be located.† Such notice shall be published pursuant to R.S.19:12-7.

†††† Any office designated by the commissioner of registration for receiving registration forms shall have displayed, in a conspicuous location, registration and voting instructions.† These instructions shall be the same as those provided for polling places under R.S.19:9-2 and shall be provided by the commissioner.

(cf: †P.L.2005, c.139, s.8)

 

†††† 3.††† Section 24 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.39:2-3.2) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 24.† a. The Secretary of State, with the assistance and concurrence of the [Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles] Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, shall [formulate a means of permitting a person to] develop and implement an automated process for an applicant to simultaneously apply for a motor vehicle driver's license or non-driver identification card and to register to vote which satisfies both the requirements necessary to receive a license to operate a motor vehicle, pursuant to R.S.39:3-10, or a non-driver identification card, and to be permitted to register to vote, pursuant to R.S.19:4-1, and in accordance with section 1 of P.L.† ††††, c.† ††††(C. ††††††) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

†††† The [Division of Motor Vehicles] New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, upon receipt of a completed [voter registration] application under this section, [shall stamp or otherwise mark the lower right hand corner of the document with the date on which it was so received and forward the document] shall transmit the applicantís electronic record and digitized signature to the Secretary of State in accordance with a schedule developed by rule or regulation pursuant section 1 of P.L. ††††††, c.† ††††(C.††† †††) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), but no later than the 10th day following the date of acceptance.†

†††† b.††† Each application [for voter registration] which is received by the [Division of Motor Vehicles] New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission shall be considered and processed as the replacement for any pre-existing voter registration of the applicant.†

†††† c.††† Each change of address notification submitted to the [Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles] Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for the purpose of maintaining current information on a person's motor vehicle license or non-driver identification card shall be [reported] electronically transmitted to the Secretary of State no later than the 10th day following its receipt by the [Division of Motor Vehicles] New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and shall serve as notification for the change of address process, [unless the registrant indicates that the change of address is not for voter registration purposes] , in accordance with section 1 of P.L.†† †††††, c.† †††(C.† ††††††) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).†

(cf: †P.L.1994, c.182, s.24)

 

†††† 4.††† Section 23 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.39:3-10m) is amended to read as follows:†

†††† 23.† Notwithstanding any law, rule or regulation to the contrary, the electronic record and digitized signature of each applicant for a State motor vehicle driver's license application or non-driver identification card, including any application for a renewal thereof, submitted to an agent of the [Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Law and Public Safety] New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission shall be [offered an opportunity to register to vote] electronically transmitted to the Secretary of State for automatic voter registration purposes, when the applicant meets the criteria specified by the Secretary of State that would qualify that applicant as a legal voter, in accordance with section 1 of P.L. †††††††, c.   ††† (C. ††††††  ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).†

(cf: †P.L.1994, c.182, s.23)†

 

†††† 5.††† This act shall take effect 180 days following the date of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill requires the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to automatically transmit applicant information to the Secretary of State for automatic voter registration purposes. †The bill also permits an applicant to decline to finalize a voter registration form within 30 days of receiving a notice of voter registration from the county commissioner of registration.†††

†††† Under current law, a person may register to vote at various locations, including designated public agencies, voter registration agencies, and when applying for a driverís license. †Completed voter registration forms are submitted from these entities to the Secretary of State or the appropriate county commissioner of registration for processing. †This bill would require the Chief Administrator of the MVC to transmit to the Secretary of State electronic records containing the legal name, age, residence, citizenship, and digitized signature of each applicant for a motor vehicle driverís license or non-driver identification card who meets the criteria specified by the Secretary of State that would qualify that applicant as a legal voter, for automatic voter registration purposes.

†††† Under the bill, upon receiving the applicantís electronic record and digitized signature, the Secretary of State would transmit the information to the county commissioner of registration of the county in which the applicant resides.† The county commissioner of registration would notify each applicant of the automatic voter registration, and would inform each applicant of the process to decline being registered to vote or, if not declining, of the option to select a political party affiliation.† If an applicant does not decline the voter registration within 30 calendar days after the county commissioner of registration issues the notification, the applicantís electronic record and digitized signature would constitute a complete voter registration form.† The applicant would be registered to vote if the county commissioner of registration determines that the applicant is eligible to register to vote pursuant to Article II, Section I, paragraph 3 of the New Jersey Constitution and Title 19 of the Revised Statutes, and is not disqualified. †A county commissioner of registration would be required to delete the electronic record and digitized signature of a person who declines to be registered to vote.

†††† A person who is 17 years of age would be eligible to be registered to vote in accordance with the provisions of the bill, but that personís registration would become official on the personís 18th birthday.

†††† The bill also requires the Chief Administrator to transmit to the Secretary of State the electronic record and digitized signature of an applicant who is updating the legal name or address information on an existing motor vehicle driverís license or non-driver identification card, who meets the criteria specified by the Secretary of State that would qualify that applicant as a legal voter, for automatic voter registration purposes and for updating an existing voter registration record.

†††† The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Chief Administrator of the MVC, would promulgate the rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of the bill.

†††† The provisions of this bill are modeled after an automatic voter registration law recently enacted in Oregon.