ASSEMBLY, No. 2952
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED MAY 12, 1997
By Assemblyman ZECKER
An Act concerning the use at school elections of signature copy registers and amending P.L.1995, c.278.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 11 of P.L.1995, c.278 (C.19:60-11) is amended to read as follows:
11. a. (1) The district board of election shall, for any school election, utilize a poll list instead of the signature copy register. The poll list shall be arranged in a column or columns appropriately headed so as to indicate the election, the date thereof, and the school district and election district in which the same is used, in such a manner that each voter voting in the polling place at the election may sign the voter's name and state the voter's address therein and the number of the voter's official ballot may be indicated opposite the signature. The district board shall compare the signature in the poll lists with that in the signature copy registers before accepting the ballot.
If, in a municipality within which an annual school election is to be conducted, no municipal election under the "Uniform Nonpartisan Elections Law", P.L.1981, c.379 (C.40:45-5 et seq.), is to be held in the same year, the governing body of that municipality may, by resolution, request the use in that school election at each polling place within the municipality of the signature comparison record contained in the signature copy register, rather than a poll list as hereinabove provided, as the place at which a voter in the school election shall sign the voter's name for signature comparison purposes. The municipal governing body shall transmit a certified copy of the resolution to the commissioner of registration of the county on or before the 21st day preceding the school election. Upon receipt of the certified copy of such a resolution, the commissioner of registration shall provide that only the signature copy registers are forwarded to the several district boards serving within the municipality for use at that school election. In any municipality, the governing body of which has adopted such a resolution, the district board shall direct each voter in the school election to sign the voter's name in the column of the signature comparison record that is headed "any other elections".
(2) The provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply at school elections in any county in which the commissioner of registration has, in accordance with the provisions of section 2 of P.L.1994, c.170 (C.19:31-3.3), authorized the use of polling records in place of duplicate permanent registration binders. In those counties, such polling records shall be used to perform the comparison of voters' signatures at school elections.
b. If one polling place is designated for two or more election districts pursuant to subsection b. of section 3 of P.L.1995, c.278 (C.19:60-3), the provisions of this section shall apply to the members of the district boards of election designated to serve as the election officers at the polling place for those election districts. The signature copy registers and poll lists, if appropriate, or the polling records, for those election districts shall be provided to those election officers.
(cf: P.L.1996, c.3, s.2)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill permits, in certain cases, the use at the annual school election of the signature comparison record used at other elections, rather than a special school election poll list, as the record to be signed by each voter in the election so that the signature can be compared with the signature on the voter's registration record before the voter is allowed to vote.
By law, the signature comparison record contains space for entry of a voter's signature only for the primary, the general, and one "other" election. In municipalities that elect their officers on a nonpartisan basis at the May municipal election, the signature space designated for "other" elections is used for that municipal election. Voters at school elections, therefore, are required to use a separate poll list to record their signatures for purposes of comparison with the signatures on their registration records. This use of separate poll lists in conjunction with the signature copy register that contains the registration record specimen has proven at times to be cumbersome for school elections officials and confusing to voters.
This bill provides that if, in a given year, there is to be held in a municipality an annual school election but no nonpartisan municipal election, the municipal governing body may request that at polling places in the municipality, the "other election" space in the signature comparison record be used instead of the "poll list" as the place where voters at that school election sign their names before voting. The commissioner of registration would have to honor such a request.
The bill also clarifies that a 1994 law (N.J.S.A.19:31-3.3) permitting use at the polls of computer-generated "polling records" in place of the signature copy registers applies to school elections as well as other elections, including school elections at which poll lists would otherwise be used.
Permits use of signature copy register for signature comparison at school elections in certain cases; clarifies that electronically generated polling record may be used at such elections.