ASSEMBLY, No. 4037

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MAY 7, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† ERIC HOUGHTALING

District 11 (Monmouth)

Assemblywoman† JOANN DOWNEY

District 11 (Monmouth)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Requires electronic signature and submission process for all candidate, recall, initiative, and referendum petitions for remaining 2020 elections and thereafter during COVID-19 emergency.

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning the electronic gathering of signatures and submission of petitions for remaining elections in 2020 and thereafter during the COVID-19 emergency.

 

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

 

†††† 1. †a. †Notwithstanding the provisions of Title 19 of the Revised Statutes, or any other law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, the requirements to collect petition signatures via an online form and to submit petitions online implemented by the Secretary of State, county clerks, and municipal clerks pursuant to paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of Executive Order No. 105 (2020) and paragraphs 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Executive Order No. 132 (2020) shall be implemented to include any pending petition for all remaining elections in 2020 and for any other election taking place thereafter for the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency declared by the Governor under Executive Order No. 103 (2020).

†††† b. †The electronic signature and submission requirements for petitions shall apply to the:

†††† (1) collection of signatures for any candidate, delegate, recall, initiative, referendum, or other petition required to be filed prior to an election;

†††† (2) delivery of petitions to the Secretary of State, county clerks, and municipal clerks;

†††† (3) acceptance by the Secretary of State, county clerks, and municipal clerks of electronic petitions with signatures collected via the online form, except that handwritten signatures obtained prior to the effective date of this section shall also be accepted electronically and in person; and

†††† (4) verification of signatures, notarization of petitions, and submission of oaths to accompany petitions, as may be required by law.

†††† c.†††† The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Department of Law and Public Safety, shall develop a generic template for the online form to be used for the collection of signatures and submission of petitions. The petitionís respective filing officer shall develop the electronic procedures for signature verification, petition notarization, and submission of oaths to meet the requirements of current law.

 

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

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill requires an electronic process for the collection of petition signatures and their submission for all elections remaining in 2020 and thereafter for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. This bill would apply to petitions required to be submitted by any candidate or delegate, and for recall, initiative, and referendum petitions.

†††† Under the bill, the requirements to collect petition signatures via an online form and to submit petitions online implemented by the Secretary of State, county clerks, and municipal clerks pursuant to paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of Executive Order No. 105 (2020) for candidate and delegate petitions, and pursuant to paragraphs 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Executive Order No. 132 (2020) for initiative and referendum petitions, would be implemented to include any pending petition for all remaining elections in 2020 and for any other election taking place thereafter for the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency declared by the Governor under Executive Order No. 103 (2020).

†††† The bill provides that the petition electronic signature and submission requirements would apply to the:

†††† (1) collection of signatures for any candidate, delegate, recall, initiative, referendum, or other petition required to be filed prior to an election;

†††† (2) delivery of petitions to the Secretary of State, county clerks, and municipal clerks;

†††† (3) acceptance by the Secretary of State, county clerks, and municipal clerks of electronic petitions with signatures collected via the online form, except that handwritten signatures obtained prior to the effective date of this section shall also be accepted electronically and in person; and

†††† (4) verification of signatures, notarization of petitions, and submission of oaths to accompany petitions, as may be required by law.

†††† The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Department of Law and Public Safety, would develop a generic template for the online form to be used for the collection of signatures and submission of petitions. The petitionís respective filing officer would develop the electronic procedures for signature verification, petition notarization, and submission of oaths to meet the requirements of current law.