It’s now up to Gov. Chris Christie to decide whether New Jersey will allow registered voters in New Jersey to receive mail-in ballots automatically for future elections.
The state Assembly has given final legislative approval to the bill that would allow voters to continue receiving a mail-in ballot unless they fail to vote in four consecutive general elections. In order for the bill to become law, Christie must sign it.
Supporters say it will help to increase voter participation.
But Montclair State political science professor Brigid Harrison said there is a down side to sending in a mail ballot early.
“In some elections, what we’ve seen is that some charges may be released in the hours immediately before the election about one candidate or another, and then voters have voted with imperfect information,” she said.
Eagleton Institute of Politics associate director John Weingart said if sizable numbers of voters use those mail-in ballots, candidates may want to have debates scheduled earlier rather than waiting until right before the election to increase their political advertising.