New Jersey mulling online voter registration

New Jersey State Capitol building in Trenton. (Alan Tu/WHYY)

New Jersey State Capitol building in Trenton. (Alan Tu/WHYY)

New Jersey lawmakers are considering legislation that would make it easier to register to vote.

State Sen. Joe Vitale says his bill would automatically put residents on voter registration rolls when they apply for or renew their driver’s license.

He said that would eliminate the need to fill out a form to register with the local Board of Elections. “It takes an effort. Sometimes people are working, and they can’t get there. They forget.  For fairly new drivers, folks who are young, they may not remember that they have to register, they should register as matter of fact, this just makes it easier,” said Vitale.

Sen. Loretta Weinberg said a measure she sponsored would allow online registration without having to mail in a form. “It will make it easier for people to register to vote and certainly young people who are used to doing everything online. I think this is just a recognition of the technology that’s available to do this kind of thing now,” she said.

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Jesse Burns, the executive director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, says enacting those bills could help increase voter participation in elections. “New Jersey has pretty low voter turnout. We’ve been hitting historic low record turnouts in the last couple of elections. So when you start to look at voting reforms as a package you’re going to see increased turnout,” said Burns.

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