ASSEMBLY, No. 4548

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED AUGUST 24, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  RAJ MUKHERJI

District 33 (Hudson)

Assemblywoman  VERLINA REYNOLDS-JACKSON

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Mazzeo, Assemblywomen Jasey, Timberlake, Assemblymen Zwicker, Benson, Spearman, Verrelli, Assemblywoman McKnight, Assemblyman Moriarty, Assemblywomen Speight and Mosquera

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Reduces standard voter registration deadline to eight days before election; allows voter registration at polling place on election day and at offices where mail-in ballots are issued within 45 days before election.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning voter registration and amending various parts of the statutory law and supplementing chapter 31 of Title 19 of the Revised Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    (New section)  a.  As used in this section:

     “Applicant” means any person otherwise eligible to vote, but who is not registered to vote for an election and is applying for such registration pursuant to this section in person (1) at the person’s assigned polling place on the day of an election, or (2) at an office where a mail-in ballot may be issued under “The Vote By Mail Law,” P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-1 et seq.), for the period beginning 45 days before the election and ending at 3 P.M. the day before the election.

     “Identifying document” means (1) a current and valid photo identification card that shows the applicant’s name and current address; (2) a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or pay check that shows the applicant’s name and current address; (3) any other government document that shows the applicant’s name and current address; or (4) any other identifying document that the Secretary of State has determined to be acceptable for this purpose.

     b.    Notwithstanding any other law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, an applicant may register to vote on the day of any election at the polling place to which the applicant is assigned, or at an office where a mail-in ballot may be issued under “The Vote By Mail Law,” P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-1 et seq.), for the period beginning 45 days before the election and ending at 3 P.M. the day before the election, by:

     (1)   presenting or submitting a copy of an identifying document;

     (2)   completing an appropriate voter registration form; and

     (3)   submitting an affidavit in which the applicant declares that the applicant is not already properly registered to vote for the election in which the applicant is voting, will have lived in the county in which the applicant is voting for at least 30 days prior to that election, has not previously voted in that election, and upon voting will not thereafter vote in that election.

     The commissioner of registration shall furnish to each polling place and office where a mail-in ballot may be issued voter registration forms and affidavit forms for the purposes of this section.

     c.     The commissioner of registration shall designate an individual at each office where a mail-in ballot may be issued to receive and review the forms and affidavits provided for under subsection b. of this section for an applicant registering to vote at that office during the period beginning 45 days before the election and ending at 3 P.M. the day before the election. The designee shall read to an applicant, prior to accepting the forms and affidavits, the penalty provision for voter fraud provided under subsection f. of this section. The designee shall issue a temporary registration certificate to a qualified applicant. The certificate shall be in triplicate, with one copy to be retained by the designee, one copy to be retained by the office, and one copy to be retained by the applicant. The applicant shall be then permitted to vote either immediately at the office or on election day at the applicant’s assigned polling place in a manner promulgated by the Secretary of the State to allow verification of the applicant’s identity and ensure the security of the ballot.

     d.    The commissioner of registration shall designate an individual in each polling place to receive and review the forms and affidavits provided for under subsection b. of this section. The designee shall read to an applicant, prior to accepting the forms and affidavits, the penalty provision for voter fraud provided under subsection f. of this section. The designee shall issue a temporary registration certificate to a qualified applicant. The certificate shall be in triplicate, with one copy to be retained by the designee, one copy to be retained by the district board, and one copy to be retained by the applicant. The applicant shall be permitted to vote at the polling place in a manner promulgated by the Secretary of the State to allow verification of the applicant’s identity and ensure the security of the ballot.

     e.     All forms and affidavits received by the commissioner’s designee pursuant to subsections c. and d. of this section shall be delivered to the commissioner of registration as soon as possible, and no later than within two days of completion. Upon receipt of the voter registration forms completed pursuant to this section, the commissioner shall:

     (1)   send to the registrant written notification that such registrant is duly registered to vote. On the face of such notification in the upper left-hand corner shall be printed the words: “Do Not Forward. Return Postage Guaranteed. If not delivered in two days, return to the Commissioner of Registration;”

     (2)   as soon as possible, enter the information provided for the registrant on the completed registration form into the Statewide voter registration system established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2005, c.145 (C.19:31-31);

     (3)   paste, tape, or photocopy the completed registration form onto an original registration form, and paste or tape a copy of such completed registration form onto a duplicate registration form, both of which shall be filed as provided in R.S.19:31-10. Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude any commissioner of registration from keeping the original registration form on file; and

     (4)   in the case of a registrant currently registered in another county of this State, notify the commissioner of registration of such other county to delete such registrant’s name from the list of persons registered in such other county.

     The commissioner shall notify a registrant of the reasons for any refusal to approve that person’s registration within two business days of such determination.

     f.     An applicant who willfully or fraudulently registers more than once, or who registers under any but the applicant’s true name, or attempts to vote more than once, or who willfully registers in any election district where the applicant is not a resident at the time of registering, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. Any person who aids and abets an applicant in violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.   

 

     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] eighth 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 while applying for a motor vehicle driver's license from an agent of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, as provided for in section 24 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.39:2-3.2);

     c.     completing and returning to the 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 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 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 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 Secretary of State or the appropriate county clerk an application for a federal postcard application form to register to vote, as permitted pursuant to 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);

     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; or

     i.     completing and submitting an online voter registration form available on the Secretary of State's Internet website, as provided under section 1 of P.L.2019, c.382 (C.19:31-6.4c).

     Any person qualified to vote in the election shall be entitled to vote in the election if the person registers at the person’s assigned polling place on the day of the election, or at an office where a mail-in ballot may be issued for the period beginning 45 days before the election and ending at 3 P.M. the day before the election, as provided under section 1 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     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.2019, c.382, s.2)

 

     3.    Section 1 of P.L.1966, c.177 (C.19:31-6.1) is amended to read as follows: 

     1.    Notwithstanding any other provisions of the Title to which this act is a supplement, any person authorized by law to accept applications for voter registration shall accept, during the [20-day] period prior to any election or on the day of the election, as the case may be, the application for registration of all eligible voters who shall personally appear for registration before such person, or the registration card mailed or delivered to such person [, but no eligible voter so registered shall be entitled to vote in the election immediately following said 20-day period]. Any person registered [under the provisions of this act] after the eighth day preceding an election at the locations and in the manner specified under subsections a. through i. of R.S.19:31-6, subsection a. of section 15 of P.L.1974, c.30 (C.19:31-6.3), and subsection a. of section 26 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.19:31-6.11) shall be advised that [he] the person will not be eligible to vote in the election immediately forthcoming but will be eligible to vote in elections held thereafter, and that the person may vote at the election immediately forthcoming if the person registers at the person’s assigned polling place on the day of the election, or at an office where a mail-in ballot may be issued for the period beginning 45 days before the election and ending at 3 P.M. the day before the election, as provided under section 1 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     Applications for registration pursuant to the provisions of this act shall be received at such place or places as may be designated by any duly authorized election official.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.139, s.9)

 

     4.    Section 15 of P.L.1974, c.30 (C.19:31-6.3) is amended to read as follows:

     15.  a.  As used in this section, "public agency" shall mean:

     The Division of Worker's Compensation, the Division of Employment Services and the Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance, established initially by section 5 of P.L.1948, c.446 (C.34:1A-5), in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development;

     The Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury, continued under section 24 of P.L.1948, c.92 (C.52:18A-24);

     The New Jersey Transit Corporation, established pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-4);

     Any free county library established under the provisions of article 1 of chapter 33 of Title 40 of the Revised Statutes;

     Any regional library established under the provisions of P.L.1962, c.134 (C.40:33-13.3 et seq.);

     Any free public library established under the provisions of article 1 of chapter 54 of Title 40 of the Revised Statutes;

     Any joint free public library established under the provisions of P.L.1959, c.155 (C.40:54-29.3 et seq.);

     Any public institution of higher education as included under the provisions of N.J.S.18A:62-1;

     Any eligible institution, as defined by subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.1979, c.132 (C.18A:72B-17), that receives financial assistance, aid, or grants from State funds;

     Any office or commercial establishment where State licenses or permits, other than licenses or permits issued by a professional or occupational board established under the laws of this State, are available to individual members of the public; and

     Any recruitment office of the New Jersey National Guard.

     b.    Any person entitled to register to vote may register as a voter in the election district in which that person resides at any time [prior to the 21st] on or before the eighth day preceding any election by completing a registration form described in section 16 of P.L.1974, c.30 (C.19:31-6.4) and submitting the form to the commissioner of registration of the county wherein the person resides or alternatively, in the case of a registration form provided by the employees or agents of a public agency or a voter registration agency, as defined in subsection a. of section 26 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.19:31-6.11), to those employees or agents or to the [Attorney General] Secretary of State.  Any registration form addressed to a commissioner of registration may be mailed to or delivered to the office of that commissioner, and in the case of a registration form available at a public agency, the form shall be mailed to the [Attorney General] Secretary of State or delivered to the commissioner of registration in the county of the registrant.  A registration form postmarked, stamped or otherwise marked as having been received from the registration applicant, on or before the [21st] eighth day preceding any election shall be deemed timely.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.139, s.10)

 

     5.    Section 16 of P.L.1974, c.30 (C.19:31-6.4) is amended to read as follows: 

     16.  a.  The Secretary of State shall cause to be prepared and shall provide to each county commissioner of registration forms of size and weight suitable for mailing, which shall require the information required by R.S.19:31-3 in substantially the following form:

VOTER REGISTRATION APPLICATION

     Print clearly in ink. Use ballpoint pen or marker.

     (1)   This form is being used as:

     [ ]    New registration

     [ ]    Address change

     [ ]    Name change

     (2)   Name:.....................................................

            ...............Last       First         Middle

     (3)   Are you a citizen of the United States of America? []Yes []No

     (4)   Will you be 18 years of age on or before election day? []Yes [] No

     If you checked 'No' in response to either of these questions, do not    complete this form.

     (5)   Street Address where you live:

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

     Street Address          Apt. No.

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

     (6)   City or Town County Zip Code

     (7)   Address Where You Receive Your Mail (if different from above):

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

     (8)   Date of Birth:

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

       Month     Day      Year

     (9)   (a) Telephone Number (optional)......................

            (b) E-Mail Address (optional).....................

     (10)    Name and address of Your Last Voter Registration

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

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

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

     (11)    If you are registering by mail to vote and will be voting for the first time in your current county of residence, please provide one of the following:

     (a)   your New Jersey driver's license number:................................

     (b)   the last four digits of your Social Security Number....................

     OR submit with this form a copy of any one of the following documents: a current and valid photo identification card; a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, pay check or any other government or other identifying document that shows your name and current address. If you do not provide either your New Jersey driver's license number or the last four digits of your Social Security Number, or enclose a copy of one of the documents listed above, you will be asked for identification when voting for the first time, unless you are exempt from doing so under federal or State law.

     (12)    Do you wish to declare a political party affiliation? (Optional):

            [] YES. Name of Party:

            [] NO. I do not wish to declare a political party affiliation at this time.

     (13) [] I wish to receive a Mail-in Ballot for all future elections, until I request otherwise in writing.

     (14) Declaration - I swear or affirm that:

     I am a U.S. citizen.

     I live at the above address.

     I will be at least 18 years old on or before the day of the next election.

     I am not serving a sentence of incarceration due to a conviction for an indictable offense under any federal or State laws.

     I UNDERSTAND THAT ANY FALSE OR FRAUDULENT REGISTRATION MAY SUBJECT ME TO A FINE OF UP TO $15,000, IMPRISONMENT UP TO FIVE YEARS, OR BOTH PURSUANT TO R.S.19:34-1.

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

     Signature or mark of the registrant      Date

     (15) If applicant is unable to complete this form, print the name and address of individual who completed this form.

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

            Name

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

            Address

     In addition, the form may include notice to the applicant of information and options relating to the registration and voting process, including but not limited to notice of qualifications required of a registered voter; notice of the final day by which a person must be registered to be eligible to vote in an election; notice of the effect of a failure to provide required identification information; a place at which the applicant may indicate availability for service as a member of the district board of elections; a place at which the applicant may indicate whether he or she requires a polling place which is accessible to individuals with disabilities and the elderly or whether he or she is legally blind; a place at which the applicant may indicate a desire to receive additional information concerning voting by mail; and if the application indicates a political party affiliation, the voter is permitted to vote in the primary election of a political party other than the political party in which the voter was affiliated previously only if the voter registration form with the change of political party affiliation is filed prior to the 50th day next preceding the primary election. The form may also include a space for the voter registration agency to record whether the applicant registered in person, by mail or by other means.

     b.    The reverse side of the registration form shall bear the address of the Secretary of State or the commissioner of registration to whom such form is supplied, and a United States postal permit the charges upon which shall be paid by the State.

     c.     The Secretary of State shall cause to be prepared registration forms of the size, weight and form described in subsection a. of this section in both the English and Spanish language and shall provide such forms to each commissioner of registration of any county in which there is at least one election district in which bilingual sample ballots must be provided pursuant to R.S.19:14-21, R.S.19:49-4 or section 2 of P.L.1965, c.29 (C.19:23-22.4).

     d.    The commissioner of registration shall furnish such registration forms upon request in person to any person or organization in such reasonable quantities as such person or organization shall request. The commissioner shall furnish no fewer than two such forms to any person upon request by mail or by telephone.

     e.     Each such registration form shall have annexed thereto instructions specifying the manner and method of registration, and the vote by mail option specified on the form, and stating the qualifications for an eligible voter.

     f.     The Secretary of State shall also furnish such registration forms and such instructions to the Director of the Division of Workers' Compensation, the Director of the Division of Employment Services, and the Director of the Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development; to the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury; to the Executive Director of the New Jersey Transit Corporation; to the appropriate administrative officer of any other public agency, as defined by subsection a. of section 15 of P.L.1974, c.30 (C.19:31-6.3); to the Adjutant General of the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs; and to the chief administrative officer of any voter registration agency, as defined in subsection a. of section 26 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.19:31-6.11).

     g.    All registration forms received by the Secretary of State in the mail or forwarded to the Secretary of State shall be forwarded to the commissioner of registration in the county of the registrant. Each such form, and any registration form received otherwise by a commissioner of registration, shall be forwarded to the county clerk if the vote by mail option is selected on a form.

     h.    An application to register to vote received from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission or a voter registration agency, as defined in subsection a. of section 26 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.19:31-6.11), shall be deemed to have been timely made for the purpose of qualifying an eligible applicant as registered to vote in an election if the date on which the commission or agency shall have received that document in completed form, as indicated in the lower right hand corner of the form, was not later than the [21st] eighth day preceding that election.

     i.     Each commissioner of registration shall make note in the permanent registration file of each voter who is required to provide the personal identification information required pursuant to this section, as amended, and R.S.19:15-17, R.S.19:31-5 and Pub.L.107-252 (42 U.S.C.s. 15301 et seq.), to indicate the type of identification provided by the voter and the date on which it is provided. Prior to the June 2004 primary election, when such a newly registered voter seeks to vote for the first time following his or her registration, the voter will be required to provide such personal identification information. Beginning with the June 2004 primary election, when such a newly registered voter seeks to vote for the first time following his or her registration, the voter will not be required to provide such information if he or she had previously provided the personal identification information required pursuant to this section. The required information shall be collected and stored for the time and in the manner required pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Secretary of State.

     j.     The Secretary of State shall amend the voter registration application form if necessary to conform to the requirements of applicable federal or State law.

     k.    In the event that the name of any political party entered on the voter registration form by a voter who wishes to declare a political party affiliation is not legible, the commissioner of registration shall mail the voter a political party declaration form and a letter explaining that the voter's choice was not understood and that the voter should complete and return the declaration form in order to be affiliated with a party.

(cf: P.L.2019, c.270, s.3)

 

     6.    Section 17 of P.L.1974, c.30 (C.19:31-6.5) is amended to read as follows:

     17.  a. Upon receipt of any completed registration form, the commissioner of registration shall review it, and if it is found to be in order, shall:

     (1)   Send to the registrant written notification that such registrant is duly registered to vote.  [No] Except as otherwise provided for temporary registration certificates pursuant to section 1 of P.L.  , c.  (C.  ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), no registrant shall be considered a registered voter until the commissioner of registration reviews the application submitted by the registrant and deems it acceptable.  On the face of such notification in the upper left-hand corner shall be printed the words:  "Do Not Forward. Return Postage Guaranteed.  If not delivered in 2 days, return to the Commissioner of Registration."

     (2)   In as timely a manner as possible, enter the information provided for the registrant on the completed registration form, or electronically transfer the information from an online voter registration form completed pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2019, c.382 (C.19:31-6.4c), into the Statewide voter registration system established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2005, c.145 (C.19:31-31).

     (3)   Paste, tape, or photocopy the completed registration form onto an original registration form, and shall paste or tape a copy of such completed registration form onto a duplicate registration form, both of which shall be filed as provided in R.S.19:31-10.  Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude any commissioner of registration from keeping the original mail registration form on file.

     (4)   In the case of a registrant currently registered in another county of this State, notify the commissioner of registration of such other county to remove the individual's name from the registry list of voters of the county and place into an appropriate retention file all registration documents or material relating to that voter.  The commissioner of registration of the current county of the registrant shall secure and maintain the entire voting history of that registrant.

     b.    The commissioner shall notify a registrant of the reasons for any refusal to approve his registration within two business days of such determination

     c.     (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1994, c.182.)

(cf: P.L.2019, c.382, s.3)

 

     7.    R.S.19:31-7 is amended to read as follows:

     19:31-7.      For the convenience of the voters the respective municipal clerks or their duly authorized clerk or clerks in all municipalities shall also be empowered to register applicants for permanent registration up to and including the [21st] eighth day preceding any election and after any such election in the manner indicated above, subject to such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the commissioner, in counties having a superintendent of elections, and the county board in all other counties. Duly authorized clerk as used in this section shall mean a clerk who resides within the municipality and has been approved by the commissioner or the county board as the case may be.  For this purpose the commissioner shall forward to each municipal clerk a sufficient supply of registration forms.  The commissioners shall keep a record of the serial numbers of these forms and shall periodically make such checks as are necessary to accurately determine if all such forms are satisfactorily accounted for.  Each municipal clerk shall transmit daily to the commissioner all of the filled out registration forms that he may have in his office at the time. 

(cf: P.L.2005, c.139, s.12)

 

     8.    R.S.19:31-11 is amended to read as follows:

     19:31-11.    a. In all counties within the State, change of residence notices shall be made by a written request, signed by the registrant, forwarded to the commissioner by mail, and actually received by the commissioner, or by calling in person at the office of the commissioner, the county clerk, or the municipal clerk.  The commissioner shall provide change of residence notices in card form for the use of any registered voter moving to another address within the same election district or to another election district within the same county. Copies of these notices shall also be available at the office of the municipal clerk in each municipality and at the office of the county clerk in each county.  Each municipal or county clerk shall transmit daily to the commissioner all the filled out change of residence notices that may be in the municipal or county clerk's office at the time.  These notices shall be printed upon cards, shall contain a blank form showing where the applicant last resided and the address and exact location to which the applicant has moved and shall have a line for the applicant's signature, printed name and date of birth.  Upon receipt of such change of residence notice the commissioner shall cause the signature to be compared with the registration forms of the applicant and, if such signature appears to be of and by one and the same legal voter, the commissioner shall cause the entry of the change of residence to be made on those registration forms and the registrant shall thereupon be qualified to vote in the election district to which the registrant shall have so moved.  If the commissioner is not satisfied as to the signature on the request for a change of residence, a confirmation  notice  as prescribed by subsection d. of R.S.19:31-15 shall be sent by mail with postage prepaid to the registrant at the new address.

     The application for change of residence shall be filed with the commissioner or municipal clerk or county clerk, as the case may be, on or before the [21st] eighth day preceding any election.

     b.    In any county any voter who, prior to an election, shall move within the same county after the time above prescribed for filing an application for change of residence without having made application for change of residence, or who has not returned a confirmation notice sent to the voter by the commissioner of registration of the county, if such a notice has been sent to the voter, or who has not moved since the previous election but whose registration information is missing or otherwise deficient, or has otherwise failed to notify the commissioner of registration of the voter's change of address within the county, shall be permitted to vote in that election in the district to which the voter has moved, upon making a written affirmation regarding the change of address at the polling place of the district in which the voter resides on the day of the election or at an office where a mail-in ballot may be issued for the period beginning 45 days before the election and ending at 3 P.M. the day before the election.  No identifying document shall be required from the voter for this affirmation.  [A] The voter shall be permitted to vote in a manner promulgated by the Secretary of State that ensures the security of the ballot. If the voter is casting a provisional ballot, a district board member shall provide the voter with a provisional ballot, and an envelope with an affirmation statement that conforms with the requirements for such documents contained in subsection b. of section 7 of P.L.1999, c.232 (C.19:53C-1).  The voter shall complete the provisional ballot and affirmation statement, place the ballot in the envelope, seal and return it to the district board member.  The board member shall review the information in the affirmation statement for completeness before forwarding it for inspection, tabulation and notation by the county board of elections, as provided for by sections 7 through 26 of P.L.1999, c.232 (C.19:53C-1 through C.19:53C-20).  The affirmation statement shall constitute a transfer to the registrant's new residence for any subsequent election.  However, if the voter has moved from one residence to another within the same election district at any time, the voter shall be permitted to vote in such election district at any election in the same manner as other voters at the polling place upon written affirmation by the registrant to the district board member or official designated by the commissioner of registration of the registrant's change of address.

     c.     A voter who moves from an election district in one county to an election district in another county prior to the close of registration preceding an election shall register in the new county of residence, in accordance with the provisions of R.S.19:31-6, in order to be permitted to vote.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.139, s.13)

     9.    R.S.19:31-13 is amended to read as follows:

     19:31-13.    Whenever the registrant after his or her original registration shall change his or her name due to marriage, divorce, or by judgment of court, the registrant shall in person or by mail submit to the commissioner of registration a written statement notifying the commissioner of the change, which statement shall take such form, and be printed on a postal card suitable for mailing of such design, as the [Attorney General] Secretary of State shall prescribe and shall be signed by the registrant.  The commissioner, upon receipt of such a notice of change of name, shall revise accordingly the name of the registrant as it appears among the items of information concerning the registrant included on the registrant's registration forms, shall make a photographic copy of the notice of name change submitted by the registrant, and shall affix the original notice so submitted to the registrant's original registration form and the photographic copy of that notice to the registrant's duplicate registration record. 

     When notice of such change in name has not been received by or filed with the commissioner prior to the [21st] eighth day preceding any election, such person may be permitted to vote under the name under which the person was registered prior to that change at the first election following such change in name at which the person shall appear to vote, after signing the signature copy register with both the registered name and his or her new name.  The commissioner shall then revise accordingly the name of the registrant as it appears on the registrant's registration forms, make a photographic copy of the notice, and affix the original and copy of the notice to the registrant's permanent registration forms as hereinabove prescribed. 

(cf: P.L.2005, c.139, s.14)

 

     10. R.S.19:31-18 is amended to read as follows:

     19:31-18.  On or before the [eighth] fifth day preceding any general election the commissioner shall certify and transmit to the county clerk a complete list of all persons who are registered in each election district in each municipality in the county as of that day together with a statement as to the number of persons registered in each district.   The list of registered voters shall include only the following information for each registered voter:  name, address, date of birth, political party affiliation, and voting history.  Except when so ordered by a court, the list of registered voters shall not include voter signatures.  The list shall be drawn from the Statewide voter registration system, established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2005, c.145 (C.19:31-31).  It shall in figures state the total number of names of persons registered.  Such lists shall be arranged substantially in the following form: Grand Street

                Residence number         Name of voter

               or other designation

                         14              Jones, Charles  M.

                         15                Smith, John M.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.145, s.13)

 

     11.  Section 9 of P.L.1999, c.232 (C.19:53C-3) is amended to read as follows: 

     9.    Whenever a voter enters a polling place to vote on the day of an election and the circumstance of that voter matches the circumstance of a voter described in subsection b. of R.S.19:31-11, the district board shall query the voter and follow the appropriate procedure herein described.

     a.     If, at any time, the voter has moved from one residence to another in the same election district, the board shall permit the voter to vote at that polling place in the same manner as other voters at the polling place upon written affirmation by the voter to the district board.

     b.    If the voter has moved within a municipality but currently resides in an election district different from that listed for the voter by the commissioner of registration, the district board shall direct the voter to the appropriate election district and polling place for the voter and inform that person that: (1) the person must go to that polling place to vote; and (2) the person will be permitted to vote thereat by provisional ballot after completing an affirmation statement or by using any other manner of voting promulgated by the Secretary of State that ensures the security of the ballot, as provided under section 1 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     c.     If the voter has moved within the county but currently resides in a municipality different from that listed for the voter by the commissioner of registration, the district board shall determine the appropriate election district and polling place for the voter and inform that person that: (1) the person must go to that polling place to vote; and (2) the person will be permitted to vote thereat by provisional ballot after completing an affirmation statement or by using any other manner of voting promulgated by the Secretary of State that ensures the security of the ballot, as provided under section 1 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     d.    [If, on or before the 21st day prior to the day of the election, the voter has moved into the county from another county or state and has not registered to vote in that county, the board shall inform the voter that he is not eligible to vote in that county at that election.] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.   , c.   ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)

     e.     If, after the [21st] 30th day prior to the day of an election, the voter has moved into the county from another county in this State, the board shall inform the voter that: (1) the voter is not eligible to vote in the county where he resides currently at that election; and (2) the voter may be eligible to vote in the election district where the voter resided prior to moving to the voter's current residence.

     f.     If the voter's registration information has been marked by the county commissioner of registration to indicate a problem therewith, or if the voter's sample ballot has been returned as undeliverable to the county or municipal clerk, as the case may be, but the voter states that the voter has not moved prior to the day of an election, but instead continues to reside at the same address the voter resided at when voting previously, the voter shall be permitted to vote in such election district in the same manner as other voters at the polling place upon written affirmation to the district board of that election district.

     g.    If the voter's registration information is missing, the voter shall be permitted to vote by registering at the voter’s assigned polling place on the day of an election as provided under section 1 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill). Alternatively, the voter shall be permitted to vote by provisional ballot after completing the affirmation statement attached to the envelope provided with the provisional ballot.

     h.    In accordance with the requirements of subsection (c) of section 302 of Pub.L.107-252 (42 U.S.C.s.15482), whenever a voter is voting as a result of a federal or State court order or any other order extending the time established for closing the polls in effect 10 days before the date of an election, the voter may vote only by provisional ballot.  Any such ballot shall be separated by the county board from other provisional ballots cast at the election and the results shall be canvassed and recorded separately in the official canvas for the election.

     i.     Any person who, pursuant to subsection b. of R.S.19:15-17, votes by provisional ballot at the polling place because of his or her failure to provide required personal identification information shall be given until the close of business on the second day after the election to provide the applicable county commissioner of registration with the identification information.  Failure to provide the required personal identification information within that time period shall result in the rejection of the ballot.

     j.     If the voter (1) has applied for a mail-in ballot and not received either the ballot or an explanation for not receiving such a ballot pursuant to notification by the county clerk or from the free-access system established pursuant to section 5 of P.L.2004, c.88 (C.19:61-5) to provide such information; or (2) has applied for and received a mail-in ballot and has not transmitted it to the county board of elections or given it to a bearer for delivery to the county board before the time for the opening of the polls on the day of an election, the voter shall be permitted to vote at that election by provisional ballot after completing the affirmation statement attached to the envelope provided with the provisional ballot.

(cf: P.L.2009, c.79, s.34)

 

     12.  This act shall take effect on the 30th day next following enactment, except the Secretary of State may take any anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill reduces the standard voter registration deadline from 21 days before election day to eight days before election day. The bill also allows persons to register to vote at their assigned polling place on election day, and at an office where a mail-in ballot may be issued during the period beginning 45 days before the election and ending at 3 P.M. the day before the election.

     Under the bill, an applicant registering to vote at the polling place on the day of any election, at an office where a mail-in ballot may be issued under “The Vote By Mail Law” for the period beginning 45 days before the election and ending at 3 P.M. the day before the election, would be required to (1) present or submit a copy of an identifying document; (2) complete an appropriate voter registration form; and (3) submit an affidavit in which the applicant declares that the applicant is not already properly registered to vote for the election in which the applicant is voting, will have lived in the county in which the applicant is voting for at least 30 days prior to that election, has not previously voted in that election, and upon voting will not thereafter vote in that election.

     The bill requires the commissioner of registration to designate an individual at each polling place, and at each office where a mail-in ballot may be issued, to receive and review the forms and affidavits. The commissioner’s designee would be required to read to an applicant, prior to accepting the forms and affidavits, the penalty provision for voter fraud. The designee would then issue a temporary registration certificate to a qualified applicant. The certificate would be in triplicate, with one copy to be retained by the designee, one copy to be retained by the office, and one copy to be retained by the applicant. The applicant would then be permitted to vote at the polling place on election day, or immediately at the office where mail-in ballots are issued, as the case may be, in a manner promulgated by the Secretary of the State to allow verification of the applicant’s identity and ensure the security of the ballot.

     The bill requires the commissioner of registration in each county to furnish voter registration forms and affidavit forms to each polling place and to each office where a mail-in ballot may be issued. Under the bill, the completed forms and affidavits received by the commissioner’s designee at these locations would be delivered to the commissioner as soon as possible, and no later than within two days of completion. The bill directs the commissioner, upon receiving these forms, to send to the registrant written notification of the registrant’s registration; to enter the information into the Statewide voter registration system; to file the records as required by current law; and, in the case of a registrant currently registered in another county of this State, to notify the commissioner of registration of such other county to delete such registrant’s name from the list of persons registered in such other county. The bill also requires the commissioner to notify a registrant of the reasons for any refusal to approve that person’s registration within two business days of such determination.

     The bill also allows the county clerk of each county to accept change of residence notices. Under current law, such notices are accepted by each county commissioner of registration and each municipal clerk.