Move toward early voting in NJ faces Christie veto

 State Sen. Nia Gill is calling for a backup plan for New Jersey if ACA subsidies are struck down. (AP file photo)

State Sen. Nia Gill is calling for a backup plan for New Jersey if ACA subsidies are struck down. (AP file photo)

New Jersey’s Senate has passed a bill requiring each county to open at least three polling places for voters to cast their ballots early days before an election.

The measure would expand access and ensure the integrity of the voting system, sponsor Sen. Nia Gill said Monday.

 

“We will avoid the issues that we faced in Sandy of invalid votes, of people voting by fax machine,” said Gill, D-Essex.

Republicans voted against the legislation because it’s unnecessary, said Sen. Joe Pennacchio.

“We already have early voting. We have absentee voting, and anybody can walk into a county clerk’s office 45 days before the election and actually cast their vote,” he said.

Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a similar bill last year, and Pennacchio, R-Morris, said he believes the governor also will reject the latest version.

Gill said it would bring New Jersey “into the 21st century for voting.”

“You don’t have to ask for a ballot and then have it sent to you. Cast that vote,” she said. “It’s happened in 33 other states.”

Sen. Jim Whelan, another sponsor, said it should be as convenient as possible for people to vote.

“We are tied to Tuesdays because in the 1800s that used to be market day,” said Whelan, D-Atlantic. “It’s just doesn’t make sense anymore to just have one day for voting.”

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