SENATE, No. 2038







By Senator CASEY



An Act concerning elections and amending R.S.19:15-2, R.S.19:23-40 and P.L.1953, c.211.


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


    1. R.S.19:15-2 is amended to read as follows:

    19:15-2. The district boards shall open the polls for such election at [seven o'clock in the morning] seven A.M. and close them at [eight o'clock in the evening] nine P.M., and shall keep them open during the whole day of election between these hours; except that for a school election the polls shall be open between the hours of five and nine P.M. and during any additional time which the school board may designate between the hours of seven A.M. and nine P.M.

    The board may allow one member thereof at a time to be absent from the polling place and room for a period not exceeding one hour between the hours of one o'clock and five o'clock in the afternoon or for such shorter time as it shall see fit.

    At no time from the opening of the polls to the completion of the canvass shall there be less than a majority of the board present in the polling room or place, except that during a school election there shall always be at least one member of each district election board present or if more than two district board members are designated to serve at the polling place, at least two members present.

(cf: P.L.1996, c.3 s.4)


    2. R.S.19:23-40 is amended to read as follows:

    19:23-40. The primary election for the general election shall be held for all political parties upon the Tuesday next after the first Monday in June between the hours of 7:00 A.M. and [8:00 P.M.] 9:00 P.M., Standard Time. It shall be held for all political parties in the same places as hereinbefore provided for the ensuing general election.

(cf: P.L.1968, c.292, s.5)

    3. Section 23 of P.L.1953, c.211 (C.19:57-23) is amended to read as follows:

    23. Any absentee voter shall be entitled to mark any absentee ballot, so forwarded to him, for voting at any election by indicating his choice of candidates for the offices named, and as to public questions, if any, stated thereon, in accordance with the election laws of this State, except that in such ballots to be voted in any primary election for the general election his choice shall be limited to the candidates of his political party or to any person or persons whose names are written thereon by him. When so marked, such ballot shall be placed in said inner envelope, which shall then be sealed, and the voter shall then fill in the form of certificate attached to said inner envelope, at the end of which he shall sign and print his name in his own handwriting. The inner envelope with the certificate shall then be placed in said outer envelope, which shall then be sealed.

    No absentee voter shall permit any person in any way, except as provided hereafter, to unseal, mark or inspect his ballot, interfere with the secrecy of his absentee ballot vote, complete or sign the certificate, or seal the inner or outer envelope, nor shall any person do so.

    An absentee voter shall be entitled to assistance from a family member in performing any of the actions above. An incapacitated absentee voter shall also be entitled to assistance from a person other than a family member in performing any of such actions. The family member or other person providing such assistance shall certify that he did assist the voter and will maintain the secrecy of the vote by both printing and signing his name in the space provided on the certificate. In no event may a candidate for election provide such assistance, nor may any person, at the time of providing such assistance, campaign or electioneer on behalf of any candidate.

    Said sealed outer envelope with the inner envelope and the ballot enclosed therein shall then either be mailed with sufficient postage to the county board of elections to which it is addressed or delivered personally by the voter or a bearer designated by him to such board or its designee. Such ballot must be received by such board or its designee before [8 p.m.] the time designated by R.S.19:15-2 and R.S.19:23-40 for the closing of the polls on the day of an election.

    At the time any person delivers a ballot to the county board, he shall sign a record which the county shall maintain of all absentee ballots personally delivered to it.

(cf: P.L.1981, c.390, s.8)


    4. This act shall take effect on January 1 following enactment.



    The purpose of this bill is to extend the hours that polling places are open on the day of primary and general elections from 8:00 P.M., as provided for in current law, to 9:00 P.M.

    Extending the polling hours to 9:00 P.M. on those days would make the closing time for the primary and general elections the same as the closing time established in current law for school elections.





Extends hours that polling places are open for primary and general elections by changing closing from 8:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.